Plant-plant-microbe mechanisms involved in soil-borne disease suppression on a maize and pepper intercropping system.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Intercropping systems could increase crop diversity and avoid vulnerability to biotic stresses. Most studies have shown that intercropping can provide relief to crops against wind-dispersed pathogens. However, there was limited data on how the practice of intercropping help crops against soil-borne Phytophthora disease. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Compared to pepper monoculture, a large scale intercropping study of maize grown between pepper rows reduced disease levels of the soil-borne pepper Phytophthora blight. These reduced disease levels of Phytophthora in the intercropping system were correlated with the ability of maize plants to form a "root wall" that restricted the movement of Phytophthora capsici across rows. Experimentally, it was found that maize roots attracted the zoospores of P. capsici and then inhibited their growth. When maize plants were grown in close proximity to each other, the roots produced and secreted larger quantities of 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H-1,4-benzoxazin-3(4H)-one (DIMBOA) and 6-methoxy-2-benzoxazolinone (MBOA). Furthermore, MBOA, benzothiazole (BZO), and 2-(methylthio)-benzothiazole (MBZO) were identified in root exudates of maize and showed antimicrobial activity against P. capsici. CONCLUSIONS:Maize could form a "root wall" to restrict the spread of P. capsici across rows in maize and pepper intercropping systems. Antimicrobe compounds secreted by maize root were one of the factors that resulted in the inhibition of P. capsici. These results provide new insights into plant-plant-microbe mechanisms involved in intercropping systems.
Project description:Plant disease can be effectively suppressed in intercropping systems. Our previous study demonstrated that neighboring maize plants can restrict the spread of soil-borne pathogens of pepper plants by secreting defense compounds into the soil. However, whether maize plant can receive benefits from its neighboring pepper plants in an intercropping system is little attention. We examined the effects of maize roots treated with elicitors from the pepper pathogen Phytophthora capsici and pepper root exudates on the synthesis of 1,4-benzoxazine-3-ones (BXs), the expression of defense-related genes in maize, and their ability to alleviate the severity of southern corn leaf blight (SCLB) caused by Bipolaris maydis. We found that SCLB was significantly reduced after the above treatments. The contents of 1,4-benzoxazine-3-ones (BXs: DIBOA, DIMBOA, and MBOA) and the expression levels of BX synthesis and defense genes in maize roots and shoots were up-regulated. DIMBOA and MBOA effectively inhibited the mycelium growth of Bipolaris maydis at physiological concentrations in maize shoots. Further studies suggested that the defense related pathways or genes in maize roots and shoots were activated by elicitors from the P. capsici or pepper root exudates. In conclusion, maize increased the levels of BXs and defense gene expression both in roots and shoots after being triggered by root exudates and pathogen from neighboring pepper plants, eventually enhancing its resistance.
Project description:SBP-box (Squamosa-promoter binding protein) genes are a type of plant-specific transcription factor and play important roles in plant growth, signal transduction and stress response. However, little is known about the SBP-box genes in pepper (CaSBP), especially in the process of Phytophthora capsici infection. In this study, a novel gene (CaSBP12) was selected from the CaSBP gene family, which was isolated from the pepper genome database in our previous study. The CaSBP12 gene was located in the nucleus of the cell and its silencing in the pepper plant enhanced the defense response against Phytophthora capsici infection. After inoculation with Phytophthora capsici, the root activity of the CaSBP12-silenced plants is compared to control plants, while malondialdehyde (MDA) content is compared viceversa. Additionally, the expression of defense related genes (CaPO1, CaSAR8.2, CaBPR1, and CaDEF1) in the silenced plants were induced to different degrees and the peak of CaSAR8.2 and CaBPR1 were higher than that of CaDEF1. The CaSBP12 over-expressed Nicotiana benthamiana plants were more susceptible to Phytophthora capsici infection with higher EC (electrical conductivity) and MDA contents as compared to the wild-type. The relative expression of defense related genes (NbDEF, NbNPR1, NbPR1a, and NbPR1b) in transgenic and wild-type Nicotiana benthamiana plants were induced, especially the NbPR1a and NbPR1b. In conclusion, these results indicate that CaSBP12 gene negative regulates the defense response against Phytophthora capsici infection which suggests their potentially significant role in plant defense. To our knowledge, this is the first report on CaSBP gene which negative regulate defense response.
Project description:Interspecies interactions play a key role in soil-borne disease suppression in intercropping systems. However, there are limited data on the underlying mechanisms of soil-borne Phytophthora disease suppression. Here, a field experiment confirmed the effects of maize and soybean intercropping on Phytophthora blight of soybean caused by Phytophthora sojae. Experimentally, the roots and root exudates of maize were found to attract P. sojae zoospores and inhibit their motility and the germination of cystospores. Furthermore, five phenolic acids (p-coumaric acid, cinnamic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid, and ferulic acid) that were consistently identified in the root exudates and rhizosphere soil of maize were found to interfere with the infection behavior of P. sojae. Among them, cinnamic acid was associated with significant chemotaxis in zoospores, and p-coumaric acid and cinnamic acid showed strong antimicrobial activity against P. sojae. However, in the rhizosphere soil of soybean, only p-hydroxybenzoic acid, low concentrations of vanillic acid, and ferulic acid were identified. Importantly, the coexistence of five phenolic acids in the maize rhizosphere compared with three phenolic acids in the soybean rhizosphere showed strong synergistic antimicrobial activity against the infection behavior of P. sojae. In summary, the types and concentrations of phenolic acids in maize and soybean rhizosphere soils were found to be crucial factors for Phytophthora disease suppression in this intercropping system.
Project description:In this study, we used the illumina high throughput sequencing approach (Sequencing-By-Synthesis, or SBS) to develop the sequence resource of black pepper. To identify micro RNAs functioning in stress response of the black pepper plant, small RNA libraries were prepared from the leaf and root of Phytophthora capsici infected plants, leaves from drought stressed and control plants. Overall design: Stress responsive small RNAome profiling from black pepper
Project description:Given the growing challenges to food and eco-environmental security as well as sustainable development of animal husbandry in the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China, it is crucial to identify advantageous intercropping modes and some constraints limiting its popularization. In order to assess the performance of various intercropping modes of maize and alfalfa, a field experiment was conducted in a completely randomized block design with five treatments: maize monoculture in even rows, maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows, alfalfa monoculture, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows and maize intercropped with two rows of alfalfa in wide rows. Results demonstrate that maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows performed best for light transmission, grain yield and output value, compared to in even rows. When intercropped, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows was identified as the optimal strategy and the largely complementary ecological niches of alfalfa and maize were shown to account for the intercropping advantages, optimizing resource utilization and improving yield and economic incomes. These findings suggest that alfalfa/maize intercropping has obvious advantages over monoculture and is applicable to the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China.
Project description:Phytophthora capsici (Leon.) is a globally prevalent, devastating oomycete pathogen that causes root rot in pepper (Capsicum annuum). Several studies have identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying resistance to P. capsici root rot (PcRR). However, breeding for pepper cultivars resistant to PcRR remains challenging due to the complexity of PcRR resistance. Here, we combined traditional QTL mapping with GWAS to broaden our understanding of PcRR resistance in pepper. Three major-effect loci (5.1, 5.2, and 5.3) conferring broad-spectrum resistance to three isolates of P. capsici were mapped to pepper chromosome P5. In addition, QTLs with epistatic interactions and minor effects specific to isolate and environment were detected on other chromosomes. GWAS detected 117 significant SNPs across the genome associated with PcRR resistance, including SNPs on chromosomes P5, P7, and P11 that colocalized with the QTLs identified here and in previous studies. Clusters of candidate nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) and receptor-like kinase (RLK) genes were predicted within the QTL and GWAS regions; such genes often function in disease resistance. These candidate genes lay the foundation for the molecular dissection of PcRR resistance. SNP markers associated with QTLs for PcRR resistance will be useful for marker-assisted breeding and genomic selection in pepper breeding.
Project description:Phytophthora blight is one of the most destructive diseases of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) globally. The APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factors (AP2/ERF) genes play a crucial role in plant response to biotic stresses but, to date, have not been studied in the context of Phytophthora resistance in pepper. Here, we documented potential roles for the pepper CaAP2/ERF064 gene in inducing cell death and conferring resistance to Phytophthora capsici (P. capsici) infection. Results revealed that the N-terminal, AP2 domain, and C-terminal of CaAP2/ERF064 protein is responsible for triggering cell death in Nicotiana benthamiana (N. benthamiana). Moreover, the transcription of CaAP2/ERF064 in plant is synergistically regulated by the Methyl-Jasmonate (MeJA) and ethephon (ET) signaling pathway. CaAP2/ERF064 was found to regulate the expression of CaBPR1, which is a pathogenesis-related (PR) gene of pepper. Furthermore, the silencing of CaAP2/ERF064 compromised the pepper plant resistance to P. capsici by reducing the transcript level of defense-related genes CaBPR1, CaPO2, and CaSAR82, while the ectopic expression of CaAP2/ERF064 in N. benthamiana plant elevated the expression level of NbPR1b and enhanced resistance to P. capsici. These results suggest that CaAP2/ERF064 could positively regulate the defense response against P. capsici by modulating the transcription of PR genes in the plant.
Project description:Small RNAs derived from transfer RNAs were recently assigned as potential gene regulatory candidates for various stress responses in eukaryotes. In this study, we report on the cloning and identification of tRNA derived small RNAs from black pepper plants in response to the infection of the quick wilt pathogen, Phytophthora capsici. 5'tRFs cloned from black pepper were validated as highly expressed during P. capsici infection. A high-throughput systematic analysis of the small RNAome (sRNAome) revealed the predominance of 5'tRFs in the infected leaf and root. The abundance of 5'tRFs in the sRNAome and the defense responsive genes as their potential targets indicated their regulatory role during stress response in black pepper. The 5'Ala(CGC) tRF mediated cleavage was experimentally mapped at the tRF binding sites on the mRNA targets of Non-expresser of pathogenesis related protein (NPR1), which was down-regulated during pathogen infection. Comparative sRNAome further demonstrated sequence conservation of 5'Ala tRFs across the angiosperm plant groups, and many important genes in the defense response were identified in silico as their potential targets. Our findings uncovered the diversity, differential expression and stress responsive functional role of tRNA-derived small RNAs during Phytophthora infection in black pepper.
Project description:Ethylene-responsive factors (ERF) are usually considered to play diverse roles in plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, an ERF gene CaPTI1 was isolated from pepper transcriptome database. CaPTI1 contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 543 bp, which encodes a putative polypeptide of 180 amino acids with a theoretical molecular weight of 20.30 kDa. Results of expression profile showed that CaPTI1 had a highest expression level in roots and this gene could not only response to the infection of Phytophthora capsici and the stresses of cold and drought, but also be induced by the signaling molecule (salicylic acid, Methyl Jasmonate, Ethephon, and hydogen peroxide). Furthermore, virus-induce gene silencing (VIGS) of CaPTI1 in pepper weakened the defense response significantly by reducing the expression of defense related genes CaPR1, CaDEF1 and CaSAR82 and also the root activity. These results suggested that CaPTI1 is involved in the regulation of defense response to P. capsici in pepper.
Project description:Induced resistance in plants is a systemic response to certain microorganisms or chemicals that enhances basal defense responses during subsequent plant infection by pathogens. Inoculation of chile pepper with zoospores of non-host Phytophthora nicotianae or the chemical elicitor beta-aminobutyric acid (BABA) significantly inhibited foliar blight caused by Phytophthora capsici. Tissue extract analyses by GC/MS identified conserved change in certain metabolite concentrations following P. nicotianae or BABA treatment. Induced chile pepper plants had reduced concentrations of sucrose and TCA cycle intermediates and increased concentrations of specific hexose-phosphates, hexose-disaccharides and amino acids. Galactose, which increased significantly in induced chile pepper plants, was shown to inhibit growth of P. capsici in a plate assay.