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Temporal impact of the vascular wilt pathogen Verticillium dahliae on tomato root proteome

Witzel, Katja, Buhtz, Anja, Grosch, Rita
Journal of proteomics 2017 v.169 pp. 215-224
Solanum lycopersicum, Verticillium dahliae, biochemical pathways, breeding, carbon, crops, enzymes, gel electrophoresis, metabolism, nitrogen, oxidative stress, pathogens, proteins, proteome, reactive oxygen species, root growth, roots, salicylic acid, secondary metabolites, soil fungi, tomatoes, vascular wilt, wilting
The soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae is the causal agent of wilting disease and affects a wide range of plant species worldwide. Here, we report on the time-resolved analysis of the tomato root proteome in response to fungal colonization. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Hildares) was inoculated with V. dahliae at the two-leaf stage and roots were harvested at 7, 14 and 21 days post inoculation (dpi). In order to identify proteins related to the fungal spread at the different time points, a subsequent proteome analysis by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D–DIGE) was conducted on samples from three independent experiments. Hierarchical clustering and k-means clustering of identified proteins distinguished early and late responses to fungal colonization. The results underline that plant defense and adaptation responses are timely coordinated. Proteins involved in oxidative stress were down-regulated at 7 dpi but induced 21 dpi indicating versatile reactive oxygen species signaling interacting with salicylic acid defence signaling at that stage of infection. Drought-stress proteins were induced at 21 dpi, reflecting the beginning of wilting symptoms. Notably, two proteins involved in energy-generating pathways were induced throughout all sampling dates and may reflect the increase in metabolic activity to maintain root growth and, concurrently, activate defense responses.Mounting of defense responses requires a substantial flux of carbon and nitrogen from primary to secondary metabolites. In-depth understanding of these key metabolic pathways required for growth and defense responses, especially at proteome level, will allow the development of breeding strategies for crops where Verticillium tolerance is absent. Our data show early and late responses of tomato root proteins towards pathogen infection and identify primary metabolism enzymes affected by V. dahliae. Those proteins represent candidates for plant improvement.