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Silicon protects soybean plants against Phytophthora sojae by interfering with effector-receptor expression
- Rasoolizadeh, Aliyeh, Labbé, Caroline, Sonah, Humira, Deshmukh, Rupesh K., Belzile, François, Menzies, James G., Bélanger, Richard R.
- BMC plant biology 2018 v.18 no.1 pp. 97
- Glycine max, Phytophthora sojae, apoplast, genes, mechanism of action, pathogenesis-related proteins, plant pathogens, receptors, roots, silicon, soybeans, transcriptomics, virulence
- BACKGROUND: Silicon (Si) is known to protect against biotrophic and hemibiotrophic plant pathogens; however, the mechanisms by which it exerts its prophylactic role remain unknown. In an attempt to obtain unique insights into the mode of action of Si, we conducted a full comparative transcriptomic analysis of soybean (Glycine max) plants and Phytophthora sojae, a hemibiotroph that relies heavily on effectors for its virulence. RESULTS: Supplying Si to inoculated plants provided a strong protection against P. sojae over the course of the experiment (21 day). Our results showed that the response of Si-free (Si⁻) plants to inoculation was characterized early (4 dpi) by a high expression of defense-related genes, including plant receptors, which receded over time as the pathogen progressed into the roots. The infection was synchronized with a high expression of effectors by P. sojae, the nature of which changed over time. By contrast, the transcriptomic response of Si-fed (Si⁺) plants was remarkably unaffected by the presence of P. sojae, and the expression of effector-coding genes by the pathogen was significantly reduced. CONCLUSION: Given that the apoplast is a key site of interaction between effectors and plant defenses and receptors in the soybean-P. sojae complex, as well as the site of amorphous-Si accumulation, our results indicate that Si likely interferes with the signaling network between P. sojae and the plant, preventing or decreasing the release of effectors reaching plant receptors, thus creating a form of incompatible interaction.