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Identification of candidate pathogenicity determinants of Rhizoctonia solani AG1-IA, which causes sheath blight disease in rice

Ghosh, Srayan, Kanwar, Poonam, Jha, Gopaljee
Current genetics 2018 v.64 no.3 pp. 729-740
ABC transporters, Thanatephorus cucumeris, blight, cell walls, cytotoxicity, disease control, fungi, gene expression regulation, genes, genotype, glucose transporters, host range, metabolism, oxidative stress, pathogenesis, pathogenicity, pathogens, proteinases, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rice, transcription (genetics), transcription factors
Sheath blight disease is one of the predominant diseases of rice and it is caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The mechanistic insight about its widespread success as a broad host range pathogen is limited. In this study, we endeavor to identify pathogenicity determinants of R. solani during infection process in rice. Through RNAseq analysis, we identified a total of 65 and 232 R. solani (strain BRS1) genes to be commonly upregulated in three different rice genotypes (PB1, Tetep, and TP309) at establishment and necrotrophic phase, respectively. The induction of genes encoding extracellular protease, ABC transporter, and transcription factors were notable during establishment phase. While during necrotrophic phase, several CAZymes, sugar transporters, cellular metabolism, and protein degradation-related genes were prominently induced. We have also identified few putative secreted effector encoding genes that were upregulated during pathogenesis. The qPCR analysis further validated the phase-specific expression dynamics of some selected putative effectors and pathogenicity-associated genes. Overall, the present study reports identification of key genes and processes that might be crucial for R. solani pathogenesis. The ability to effectively damage host cell wall and survive in hostile plant environment by managing oxidative stress, cytotoxic compounds, etc. is being proposed to be important for pathogenesis of R. solani in rice. The functional characterization of these genes would provide key insights about this important pathosystem and facilitate development of strategies to control this devastating disease.