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Detection of Gene Expression Changes in Capsicum annuum L. Foliar Blight Caused by Phytophthora capsici Leon. Using qRT-PCR and Leaf Discs

Rhiana F. Jones, Paul W. Bosland, Robert L. Steiner, Richard W. Jones, Mary A. O'Connell
HortScience 2015 v.50 no.9 pp. 1342-1348
Capsicum annuum, Phytophthora capsici, RNA, blight, cultivars, disease resistance, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzyme inhibitors, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, host plants, leaves, phenotype, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, races, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, structural proteins
Phytophthora capsici is responsible for multiple disease syndromes of Capsicum annuum but the resistance mechanism is still unknown. Evaluating gene expression during foliar blight can be used to identify expression patterns associated with resistance in Capsicum species. This study reports a direct comparison of gene expression changes during the foliar blight syndrome using two different races of P. capsici on C. annuum host plants with resistant and susceptible phenotypes to those races. Four genes were evaluated for differential expression following leaf inoculation with P. capsici. RNA isolated from leaves at three time points was used to quantify gene expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Of four genes tested, two had differential expression in response to P. capsici at 72 hours postinoculation, a xyloglucan-specific endo-β-1,4-glucanase inhibitor protein (XEGIP2) in susceptible cultivar New Mexico Heritage 6-4 (NMH6-4), and a C. annuum cell wall protein (CWP) in resistant Criollo de Morelos 334 (CM334). Both genes had a 5-fold increase in transcription in leaves over the control. These results suggest that both genes are playing a role in disease resistance to foliar blight.