RNAseq-based transcriptome analysis of Lactuca sativa infected by the fungal necrotroph Botrytis cinerea

Kaat De Cremer, Janick Mathys, Christine Vos, Lutz Froenicke, Richard W Michelmore, Bruno P A Cammue, Barbara De Coninck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea establishes a necrotrophic interaction with its host plants, including lettuce (Lactuca sativa), causing it to wilt, collapse and eventually dry up and die, which results in serious economic losses. Global expression profiling using RNAseq and the newly sequenced lettuce genome identified a complex network of genes involved in the lettuce-B.cinerea interaction. The observed high number of differentially expressed genes allowed us to classify them according to the biological pathways in which they are implicated, generating a holistic picture. Most pronounced were the induction of the phenylpropanoid pathway and terpenoid biosynthesis, whereas photosynthesis was globally down-regulated at 48h post-inoculation. Large-scale comparison with data available on the interaction of B.cinerea with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana revealed both general and species-specific responses to infection with this pathogen. Surprisingly, expression analysis of selected genes could not detect significant systemic transcriptional alterations in lettuce leaves distant from the inoculation site. Additionally, we assessed the response of these lettuce genes to a biotrophic pathogen, Bremia lactucae, revealing that similar pathways are induced during compatible interactions of lettuce with necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens. This study includes an extended RNAseq analysis of the locally induced defence responses in leaves of lettuce after inoculation with Botrytis cinerea, an economically important pathogen affecting many dicot plant species. To our knowledge, this is the first reported quantitative transcriptomic study of lettuce, which was possible after the recent unravelling of the lettuce genome. The observed high number of differentially expressed genes allowed us to classify them according to the biological pathways indicating the induction of secondary metabolism, with the phenylpropanoid pathway and terpenoid biosynthesis among the most pronounced responses. Subsequent qRT-PCR-based gene expression analysis on a limited set of genes resulting from our RNAseq-study revealed a high similarity in (i) the response in locally infected versus systemic leaves and (ii) in the induction of similar pathways during compatible interactions of lettuce with necrotrophic versus biotrophic pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1992-2007
Number of pages16
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Volume36
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Bremia lactucae
  • Grey mould
  • Lettuce
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Physiology

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    De Cremer, K., Mathys, J., Vos, C., Froenicke, L., Michelmore, R. W., Cammue, B. P. A., & De Coninck, B. (2013). RNAseq-based transcriptome analysis of Lactuca sativa infected by the fungal necrotroph Botrytis cinerea. Plant, Cell and Environment, 36(11), 1992-2007. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.12106