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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 8;6:19007. doi: 10.1038/srep19007.

Comparative transcriptomic analysis uncovers the complex genetic network for resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Brassica napus.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.


Sclerotinia stem rot caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is one of the most devastating diseases in many important crops including Brassica napus worldwide. Quantitative resistance is the only source for genetic improvement of Sclerotinia-resistance in B. napus, but the molecular basis for such a resistance is largely unknown. Here, we performed dynamic transcriptomic analyses to understand the differential defense response to S. sclerotiorum in a resistant line (R-line) and a susceptible line (S-line) of B. napus at 24, 48 and 96 h post-inoculation. Both the numbers of and fold changes in differentially expressed genes in the R-line were larger than those in the S-line. We identified 9001 relative differentially expressed genes in the R-line compared with the S-line. The differences between susceptibility and resistance were associated with the magnitude of expression changes in a set of genes involved in pathogen recognition, MAPK signaling cascade, WRKY transcription regulation, jasmonic acid/ethylene signaling pathways, and biosynthesis of defense-related protein and indolic glucosinolate. The results were supported by quantitation of defense-related enzyme activity and glucosinolate contents. Our results provide insights into the complex molecular mechanism of the defense response to S. sclerotiorum in B. napus and for development of effective strategies in Sclerotinia-resistance breeding.

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