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Overexpression of the ethylene response factor SlERF1 gene enhances resistance of tomato fruit to Rhizopus nigricans

Pan, Xiao-Qi, Fu, Da-Qi, Zhu, Ben-Zhong, Lu, Cheng-Wen, Luo, Yun-Bo
Postharvest biology and technology 2013 v.75 pp. 28-36
Rhizopus stolonifer, chitinase, ethylene, fruits, gene overexpression, genes, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, plant stress, stress response, tomatoes
The tomato SlERF1 gene belongs to a distinct subfamily of the large ERF gene family. It is a downstream component in the ethylene signaling pathway in tomato, and is involved in plant defense and stress responses. Overexpression of the SlERF1 gene (SlERF1-OEs) in tomato dramatically enhanced the resistance of fruit to Rhizopus nigricans. In attempt to elucidate the mechanism basis of this observation, our study revealed a dual modulation. Firstly, SlERF1-OEs fruit showed a remarkable transcript accumulation of PR5 and PAL genes before infection with R. nigricans, which was not observed in wild-type (WT) fruit. Secondly, SlERF1-OEs fruit had higher activitiers of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and chitinase (CHI) in response to the fungal stress. These results show that SlERF1 positively modulated the ethylene-dependent pathogenesis defense pathway in tomato. That may be one of the mechanisms by which ERFs enhance plant tolerance to fungal invasion.