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Front Plant Sci. 2017 Aug 22;8:1387. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01387. eCollection 2017.

Quantitative Disease Resistance under Elevated Temperature: Genetic Basis of New Resistance Mechanisms to Ralstonia solanacearum.

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1
LIPM, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INPT, Université de ToulouseCastanet-Tolosan, France.

Abstract

In the context of climate warming, plants will be facing an increased risk of epidemics as well as the emergence of new highly aggressive pathogen species. Although a permanent increase of temperature strongly affects plant immunity, the underlying molecular mechanisms involved are still poorly characterized. In this study, we aimed to uncover the genetic bases of resistance mechanisms that are efficient at elevated temperature to the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC), one of the most harmful phytobacteria causing bacterial wilt. To start the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with natural variation of response to R. solanacearum, we adopted a genome wide association (GWA) mapping approach using 176 worldwide natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana inoculated with the R. solanacearum GMI1000 strain. Following two different procedures of root-inoculation (root apparatus cut vs. uncut), plants were grown either at 27 or 30°C, with the latter temperature mimicking a permanent increase in temperature. At 27°C, the RPS4/RRS1-R locus was the main QTL of resistance detected regardless of the method of inoculation used. This highlights the power of GWA mapping to identify functionally important loci for resistance to the GMI1000 strain. At 30°C, although most of the accessions developed wilting symptoms, we identified several QTLs that were specific to the inoculation method used. We focused on a QTL region associated with response to the GMI1000 strain in the early stages of infection and, by adopting a reverse genetic approach, we functionally validated the involvement of a strictosidine synthase-like 4 (SSL4) protein that shares structural similarities with animal proteins known to play a role in animal immunity.

KEYWORDS:

Arabidopsis thaliana; Ralstonia solanacearum; climate warming; genome wide association mapping; natural diversity; quantitative disease resistance

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