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PLOS ONE  2013 

Comparative RNA-Seq Analysis of Early-Infected Peach Leaves by the Invasive Phytopathogen Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054196

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Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni is a quarantine bacterial pathogen that threatens peach production by causing necrotic spots on leaves and fruits, thus with the potential of severely reducing yields. The current understanding of the host plant defense responses to the pathogen is very limited. Using whole transcriptome sequencing, differential gene expression was analyzed at two time points, 2 h and 12 h post inoculation (hpi), by comparing the inoculated samples to their respective controls. On the total of 19,781 known peach genes that were expressed in all time points and conditions, 34 and 263 were differentially expressed at 2 and 12 hpi, respectively. Of those, 82% and 40% were up-regulated, respectively; and 18% and 60% were down-regulated, respectively. The functional annotation based on gene ontology (GO) analysis highlighted that genes involved in metabolic process and response to stress were particularly represented at 2 hpi whereas at 12 hpi cellular and metabolic processes were the categories with the highest number of genes differentially expressed. Of particular interest among the differentially expressed genes identified were several pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) receptors, disease resistance genes including several RPM1-like and pathogenesis related thaumatin encoding genes. Other genes involved in photosynthesis, in cell wall reorganization, in hormone signaling pathways or encoding cytochrome were also differentially expressed. In addition, novel transcripts were identified, providing another basis for further characterization of plant defense-related genes. Overall, this study gives a first insight of the peach defense mechanisms during the very early stages of infection with a bacterial disease in the case of a compatible interaction.


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