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Elevated temperature increases in planta expression levels of virulence related genes in Magnaporthe oryzae and compromises resistance in Oryza sativa cv. Nipponbare

Onaga, Geoffrey, Wydra, Kerstin D., Koopmann, Birger, Séré, Yakouba, von Tiedemann, Andreas
Functional plant biology 2017 v.44 no.3 pp. 358-371
Magnaporthe oryzae, Oryza sativa, disease outbreaks, disease severity, fungi, genes, leaves, microbial biomass, necrosis, pathogens, plant tissues, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rice, seedlings, sequence analysis, temperature, transcriptome, virulence
Temperature changes have the potential to alter the incidence and severity of plant disease epidemics and pressures, as well as to reshape the co-evolutionary relationships between plants and pathogens. However, the molecular basis of temperature modulation of pathogenicity of plant pathogens is still unclear. Here, we studied the effect of temperature on biomass of Magnaporthe oryzae in planta using qPCR. Additionally, the transcriptomes of M. oryzae and rice were analysed using RNA-seq. Rice seedlings were exposed to 35°C and 28°C for 7 days before pathogen inoculation. Inoculated plants were kept in the dark at 28°C for 24h and later re-exposed to 35°C and 28°C for an additional 24h before sample collection. Plants grown and predisposed to 35°C prior to inoculation exhibited accelerated tissue necrosis compared with plants grown and inoculated at 28°C. In accordance with the disease severity observed on infected leaves, in planta fungal biomass was significantly higher at 35°C than 28°C. Moreover, M. oryzae exhibited increased expression levels of putative fungal effector genes in plants exposed to 35°C compared with plants exposed to 28°C. Collectively, this study revealed that temperature elevation could favour M. oryzae infection by compromising plant resistance and accelerating plant tissue colonisation with the pathogen.