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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Apr 25;14(5):8985-9004. doi: 10.3390/ijms14058985.

Characteristic of the pepper CaRGA2 gene in defense responses against Phytophthora capsici Leonian.

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College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China.


The most significant threat to pepper production worldwide is the Phytophthora blight, which is caused by the oomycete pathogen, Phytophthora capsici Leonian. In an effort to help control this disease, we isolated and characterized a P. capsici resistance gene, CaRGA2, from a high resistant pepper (C. annuum CM334) and analyzed its function by the method of real-time PCR and virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). The CaRGA2 has a full-length cDNA of 3,018 bp with 2,874 bp open reading frame (ORF) and encodes a 957-aa protein. The protein has a predicted molecular weight of 108.6 kDa, and the isoelectric point is 8.106. Quantitative real-time PCR indicated that CaRGA2 expression was rapidly induced by P. capsici. The gene expression pattern was different between the resistant and susceptible cultivars. CaRGA2 was quickly expressed in the resistant cultivar, CM334, and reached to a peak at 24 h after inoculation with P. capsici, five-fold higher than that of susceptible cultivar. Our results suggest that CaRGA2 has a distinct pattern of expression and plays a critical role in P. capsici stress tolerance. When the CaRGA2 gene was silenced via VIGS, the resistance level was clearly suppressed, an observation that was supported by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and detached leave inoculation. VIGS analysis revealed their importance in the surveillance to P. capsici in pepper. Our results support the idea that the CaRGA2 gene may show their response in resistance against P. capsici. These analyses will aid in an effort towards breeding for broad and durable resistance in economically important pepper cultivars.

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