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Transcriptional analysis identifies major pathways as response components to Sporisorium scitamineum stress in sugarcane

Huang, Ning, Ling, Hui, Su, Yachun, Liu, Feng, Xu, Liping, Su, Weihua, Wu, Qibin, Guo, Jinlong, Gao, Shiwu, Que, Youxiong
Gene 2018 v.678 pp. 207-218
Northern blotting, Sporisorium, abscisic acid, auxins, calcium, cell walls, ethylene, expressed sequence tags, gene expression regulation, genotype, hypersensitive response, plant pathogenic fungi, polyamines, protein metabolism, protein-serine-threonine kinases, proteins, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, salicylic acid, serine, signal transduction, smut diseases, sugarcane, suppression subtractive hybridization, threonine, transcription (genetics), unigenes
Sugarcane smut, which is caused by Sporisorium scitamineum, is a severe fungal disease affecting sugarcane. However, the major pathways involved in the interaction between sugarcane and S. scitamineum remains unclear.In the present study, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) library construction, together with reverse northern blotting, was conducted on the most prevalent sugarcane genotype ROC22 challenged with S. scitamineum. After alignment and homologous expressed sequence tag (EST) assembly, a total of 155 differentially expressed unigenes were identified from SSH libraries. Totally, 26 of 155 differentially expressed unigenes were analyzed by qRT-PCR in sugarcane smut-resistant genotype YC05-179 and susceptible genotype ROC22. Genes encoded two unknown protein (Q1 and Q11), serine/threonine kinase (Q2), fiber protein (Q3), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (Q23), and Sc14-3-3-like protein (Q24) were induced in sugarcane smut-resistant genotype YC05-179 but inhibited in susceptible genotype ROC22. Based on the differential expression data achieved from SSH libraries and qRT-PCR, we found that, serine/threonine kinases, Ca²⁺ sensors, mitogen-activated protein genes and some NBS-LRR genes may involve in the signal recognition and transduction of smut fungus infection in sugarcane. While in the plant hormone signaling pathways, the genes related to auxin, abscisic acid, salicylic acid and ethylene were more apparently in response to smut fungus invasion. The hypersensitive response, protein metabolism, polyamine synthesis, and cell wall formation may play an important role in sugarcane defense against smut fungus colonization. Additionally, the Sc14-3-3 might serve as a molecular modulator in sugarcane being immune to smut disease by interacting with proteins like ScGAPN (Q10), which have been further verified by BiFC assay.The findings of the present study could provide a general view about gene pathways involving in sugarcane defense against smut disease and facilitate a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying sugarcane-S. scitamineum interaction.