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Plant Physiol. 1999 Mar;119(3):935-50.

Isolation of ethylene-insensitive soybean mutants that are altered in pathogen susceptibility and gene-for-gene disease resistance

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  • 1Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


Plants commonly respond to pathogen infection by increasing ethylene production, but it is not clear if this ethylene does more to promote disease susceptibility or disease resistance. Ethylene production and/or responsiveness can be altered by genetic manipulation. The present study used mutagenesis to identify soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) lines with reduced sensitivity to ethylene. Two new genetic loci were identified, Etr1 and Etr2. Mutants were compared with isogenic wild-type parents for their response to different soybean pathogens. Plant lines with reduced ethylene sensitivity developed similar or less-severe disease symptoms in response to virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv glycinea and Phytophthora sojae, but some of the mutants developed similar or more-severe symptoms in response to Septoria glycines and Rhizoctonia solani. Gene-for-gene resistance against P. syringae expressing avrRpt2 remained effective, but Rps1-k-mediated resistance against P. sojae races 4 and 7 was disrupted in the strong ethylene-insensitive etr1-1 mutant. Rps1-k-mediated resistance against P. sojae race 1 remained effective, suggesting that the Rps1-k locus may encode more than one gene for disease resistance. Overall, our results suggest that reduced ethylene sensitivity can be beneficial against some pathogens but deleterious to resistance against other pathogens.

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