Chitosan primes plant defence mechanisms against Botrytis cinerea, including expression of Avr9/Cf-9 rapidly-elicited genes

Daniel De Vega, Nicola Holden, Pete E. Hedley, Jenny Morris, Estrella Luna (Lead / Corresponding author), Adrian Newton (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current crop protection strategies against the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea rely on a combination of conventional fungicides and host genetic resistance. However, due to pathogen evolution and legislation in the use of fungicides, these strategies are not sufficient to protect plants against this pathogen. Defence elicitors can stimulate plant defence mechanisms through a phenomenon known as defence priming. Priming results in a faster and/or stronger expression of resistance upon pathogen recognition by the host. This work aims to study defence priming by a commercial formulation of the elicitor chitosan. Treatments with chitosan result in induced resistance in solanaceous and brassicaceous plants. In tomato plants, enhanced resistance has been linked with priming of callose deposition and accumulation of the plant hormone jasmonic acid (JA). Large-scale transcriptomic analysis revealed that chitosan primes gene expression at early time-points after infection. In addition, two novel tomato genes with a characteristic priming profile were identified, Avr9/Cf-9 rapidly-elicited protein 75 (ACRE75) and 180 (ACRE180). Transient and stable overexpression of ACRE75, ACRE180 and their Nicotiana benthamiana homologs, revealed that they are positive regulators of plant resistance against B. cinerea. This provides valuable information in the search for strategies to protect Solanaceae plants against B. cinerea. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Early online date23 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2020

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