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Plant Cell Rep. 2012 Jan;31(1):187-203. doi: 10.1007/s00299-011-1155-2. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

Differential gene induction in resistant and susceptible potato cultivars at early stages of infection by Phytophthora infestans.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.


Sarpo Mira, a potato variety with high resistance against the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans, is being used in breeding programs to increase late blight resistance in commercial varieties. Discovering genes that are important for P. infestans resistance will assist in the development of molecular markers for the selection of new resistant cultivars and the use of resistant varieties will reduce the environmental, health and financial costs associated with the use of pesticides. Using complementary DNA amplified fragment length polymorphism analyses, differentially expressed genes involved in the potato-P. infestans interaction were identified in the susceptible Bintje and in the resistant Sarpo Mira potato cultivars. Forty-eight differentially expressed transcript derived fragments (TDFs) were cloned and sequenced. The expression profiles of some of these genes were analyzed in detail using quantitative RT-PCR at seven time points: 1, 4, 17, 24, 30, 41 and 65 hours after inoculation (hai). We found that five transcripts with homologies to pathogenesis/defense-related genes and two TDFs with homology to transcription factors were significantly induced to higher levels in the resistant cultivar at very early stages of the infection (1 hai). Interestingly, most of these genes showed different expression profiles throughout the whole infection process between both cultivars. Particularly during its biotrophic growth phase, P. infestans triggered the down-regulation of infection responsive genes in the susceptible but not in the resistance cultivar. Our results suggest that these newly identified early-induced transcripts may be good candidates for conferring Sarpo Mira's resistance to late blight and they could be useful molecular markers for the selection of new resistant cultivars.

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