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Front Plant Sci. 2017 Apr 11;8:515. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00515. eCollection 2017.

Expression Profiling of Castanea Genes during Resistant and Susceptible Interactions with the Oomycete Pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi Reveal Possible Mechanisms of Immunity.

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Molecular Biology Lab, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, I.P.Oeiras, Portugal.
Plant Cell Biotechnology Lab, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (Green-it Unit), Universidade Nova de LisboaOeiras, Portugal.
Departamento Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaCampo Grande, Portugal.
Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa - Tapada da AjudaLisboa, Portugal.


The most dangerous pathogen affecting the production of chestnuts is Phytophthora cinnamomi a hemibiotrophic that causes root rot, also known as ink disease. Little information has been acquired in chestnut on the molecular defense strategies against this pathogen. The expression of eight candidate genes potentially involved in the defense to P. cinnamomi was quantified by digital PCR in Castanea genotypes showing different susceptibility to the pathogen. Seven of the eight candidate genes displayed differentially expressed levels depending on genotype and time-point after inoculation. Cast_Gnk2-like revealed to be the most expressed gene across all experiments and the one that best discriminates between susceptible and resistant genotypes. Our data suggest that the pre-formed defenses are crucial for the resistance of C. crenata to P. cinnamomi. A lower and delayed expression of the eight studied genes was found in the susceptible Castanea sativa, which may be related with the establishment and spread of the disease in this species. A working model integrating the obtained results is presented.


Castanea; Phytophthora cinnamomi; digital PCR; ink disease; plant biotic interactions

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