Root system traits impact early fire blight susceptibility in apple (Malus × domestica).
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Although it is known that resistant rootstocks facilitate management of fire blight disease, incited by Erwinia amylovora, the role of rootstock root traits in providing systemic defense against E. amylovora is unclear. In this study, the hypothesis that rootstocks of higher root vigor provide higher tolerance to fire blight infection in apples is tested. Several apple scion genotypes grafted onto a single rootstock genotype and non-grafted 'M.7' rootstocks of varying root vigor are used to assess phenotypic and molecular relationships between root traits of rootstocks and fire blight susceptibility of apple scion cultivars. RESULTS:It is observed that different root traits display significant (p?
Project description:BACKGROUND: Desirable apple varieties are clonally propagated by grafting vegetative scions onto rootstocks. Rootstocks influence many phenotypic traits of the scion, including resistance to pathogens such as Erwinia amylovora, which causes fire blight, the most serious bacterial disease of apple. The purpose of the present study was to quantify rootstock-mediated differences in scion fire blight susceptibility and to identify transcripts in the scion whose expression levels correlated with this response. RESULTS: Rootstock influence on scion fire blight resistance was quantified by inoculating three-year old, orchard-grown apple trees, consisting of 'Gala' scions grafted to a range of rootstocks, with E. amylovora. Disease severity was measured by the extent of shoot necrosis over time. 'Gala' scions grafted to G.30 or MM.111 rootstocks showed the lowest rates of necrosis, while 'Gala' on M.27 and B.9 showed the highest rates of necrosis. 'Gala' scions on M.7, S.4 or M.9F56 had intermediate necrosis rates. Using an apple DNA microarray representing 55,230 unique transcripts, gene expression patterns were compared in healthy, un-inoculated, greenhouse-grown 'Gala' scions on the same series of rootstocks. We identified 690 transcripts whose steady-state expression levels correlated with the degree of fire blight susceptibility of the scion/rootstock combinations. Transcripts known to be differentially expressed during E. amylovora infection were disproportionately represented among these transcripts. A second-generation apple microarray representing 26,000 transcripts was developed and was used to test these correlations in an orchard-grown population of trees segregating for fire blight resistance. Of the 690 transcripts originally identified using the first-generation array, 39 had expression levels that correlated with fire blight resistance in the breeding population. CONCLUSIONS: Rootstocks had significant effects on the fire blight susceptibility of 'Gala' scions, and rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns could be correlated with differences in susceptibility. The results suggest a relationship between rootstock-regulated fire blight susceptibility and sorbitol dehydrogenase, phenylpropanoid metabolism, protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, and endocytosis, among others. This study illustrates the utility of our rootstock-regulated gene expression data sets for candidate trait-associated gene data mining.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Grafting is widely used in the agriculture of fruit-bearing crops; rootstocks are known to confer differences in scion biomass in addition to improving other traits of agricultural interest. However, little is known about the effect of rootstocks on scion gene expression. The objective of this study was to determine whether hetero-grafting the grapevine variety Vitis vinifera cv. 'Cabernet Sauvignon N' with two different rootstocks alters gene expression in the shoot apex in comparison to the auto-grafted control. Cabernet Sauvignon was hetero-grafted with two commercial rootstock genotypes and auto-grafted with itself. Vigor was quantified by measurements of root, stem, leaf and trunk biomass. Gene expression profiling was done using a whole genome grapevine microarray; four pools of five shoot apex samples were harvested 4 months after grafting for each scion/rootstock combination. RESULTS: The rootstocks increased stem biomass or conferred increased vigor by the end of the first growth cycle. Globally hetero-grafting two different genotypes together triggered an increase in shoot apex gene expression; however no genes were differentially expressed between the two hetero-grafts. The functional categories related to DNA, chromatin structure, histones, flavonoids and leucine rich repeat containing receptor kinases were the most enriched in the up-regulated genes in the shoot apex of hetero-grafted plants. CONCLUSIONS: The choice of rootstock genotype had little effect on the gene expression in the shoot apex; this could suggest that auto- and hetero-grafting was the major factor regulating gene expression.
Project description:The molecular basis of resistance and susceptibility of host plants to fire blight, a major disease threat to pome fruit production globally, is largely unknown. RNA-sequencing data from challenged and mock-inoculated flowers were analyzed to assess the susceptible response of apple to the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora. In presence of the pathogen 1,080 transcripts were differentially expressed at 48 h post inoculation. These included putative disease resistance, stress, pathogen related, general metabolic, and phytohormone related genes. Reads, mapped to regions on the apple genome where no genes were assigned, were used to identify potential novel genes and open reading frames. To identify transcripts specifically expressed in response to E. amylovora, RT-PCRs were conducted and compared to the expression patterns of the fire blight biocontrol agent Pantoea vagans strain C9-1, another apple pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. papulans, and mock inoculated apple flowers. This led to the identification of a peroxidase superfamily gene that was lower expressed in response to E. amylovora suggesting a potential role in the susceptibility response. Overall, this study provides the first transcriptional profile by RNA-seq of the host plant during fire blight disease and insights into the response of susceptible apple plants to E. amylovora.
Project description:To understand the roles of Malus rootstock, scion, and their interaction in Cd accumulation and tolerance, four scion/rootstock combinations consisting of the apple cultivars "Hanfu" (HF) and "Fuji" (FJ) grafted onto M. baccata (Mb) or M. micromalus "qingzhoulinqin" (Mm) rootstocks differing in relative Cd tolerance were exposed either to 0 µM or 50 µM CdCl2 for 18 d. Cd accumulation and tolerance in grafted Malus plants varied within rootstock, scion, and rootstock-scion interaction. Cd-induced decreases in photosynthesis, photosynthetic pigment level, and biomass were lower for HF grafted onto Mb than those for HF grafted onto Mm. Reductions in growth and photosynthetic rate were always the lowest for HF/Mb. Cd concentration, bioconcentration factor (BCF), and translocation factor (Tf ) were always comparatively higher in HF and FJ grafted onto rootstock Mm than in HF and FJ grafted on Mb, respectively. When HF and FJ were grafted onto the same rootstock, the root Cd concentrations were always higher in HF than FJ, whereas the shoot Cd concentrations displayed the opposite trend. The shoot Cd concentrations and Tf were lower for HF/Mb than the other scion/rootstock combinations. Rootstock, scion, and rootstock-scion interaction also affected subcellular Cd distribution. Immobilization of Cd in the root cell walls may be a primary Cd mobility and toxicity reduction strategy in Malus. The rootstock and scion also had statistically significant influences on ROS level and antioxidant activity. Cd induced more severe oxidative stress in HF and FJ grafted onto Mm than it did in HF and FJ grafted onto Mb. Compared with FJ, HF had lower foliar O2 -, root H2O2, and root and leaf MDA levels, but higher ROS-scavenging capacity. The rootstock, scion, and rootstock-scion interaction affected the mRNA transcript levels of several genes involved in Cd uptake, transport, and detoxification including HA7, FRO2-like, NRAMP1, NRAMP3, HMA4, MT2, NAS1, and ABCC1. Hence, the responses of grafted Malus plants to Cd toxicity vary with rootstock, scion, and rootstock-scion interaction.
Project description:Fire blight (FB) is a bacterial disease affecting plants from Rosaceae family, including apple and pear. FB develops after the infection of Erwinia amylovora, gram-negative enterobacterium, and results in burnt-like damages and wilting, which can affect all organs of the plant. Although the mechanisms underlying disease response in apples are not elucidated yet, it has been well described that FB resistance depends on the rootstock type. The main objective of this work was to identify miRNAs involved in response to bacterial infection in order to better explain apple defense mechanisms against fire blight disease. We performed deep sequencing of eighteen small RNA libraries obtained from inoculated and non-inoculated Gala apple leaves. 233 novel plant mature miRNAs were identified together with their targets and potential role in response to bacterial infection. We identify three apple miRNAs responding to inoculation (mdm-miR168a,b, mdm-miR194C and mdm-miR1392C) as well as miRNAs reacting to bacterial infection in a rootstock-specific manner (miR395 family). Our results provide insights into the mechanisms of fire blight resistance in apple. Overall design: Actively-growing leaf tissue samples were collected from eighteen apple trees, which includes three biological replicates of inoculated and non-inoculated Gala scions grown on G.30 or M.27 rootstock.
Project description:The apple dwarfing rootstock 'Malling9' ('M9') has been used worldwide both to reduce scion vigour and as a genetic source for breeding new rootstocks. Progeny of 'M9' segregate for rootstock-induced dwarfing of the scion, indicating that this trait is controlled by one or more genetic factors. A quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of a rootstock population derived from the cross between 'M9' × 'Robusta5' (non-dwarfing) and grafted with 'Braeburn' scions identified a major QTL (Dw1) on linkage group (LG) 5, which exhibits a significant influence on dwarfing of the scion. A smaller-effect QTL affecting dwarfing (Dw2) was identified on LG11, and four minor-effect QTLs were found on LG6, LG9, LG10 and LG12. Phenotypic analysis indicates that the combination of Dw1 and Dw2 has the strongest influence on rootstock-induced dwarfing, and that Dw1 has a stronger effect than Dw2. Genetic markers linked to Dw1 and Dw2 were screened over 41 rootstock accessions that confer a range of effects on scion growth. The majority of the dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstock accessions screened carried marker alleles linked to Dw1 and Dw2. This suggests that most apple dwarfing rootstocks have been derived from the same genetic source.
Project description:Development of apple (Malus domestica) cultivars resistant to fire blight, a devastating bacterial disease caused by Erwinia amylovora, is a priority for apple breeding programs. Towards this goal, the inactivation of members of the HIPM and DIPM gene families with a role in fire blight susceptibility (S genes) can help achieve sustainable tolerance. We have investigated the genomic diversity of HIPM and DIPM genes in Malus germplasm collections and used a candidate gene-based association mapping approach to identify SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) with significant associations to fire blight susceptibility. A total of 87 unique SNP variants were identified in HIPM and DIPM genes across 93 Malus accessions. Thirty SNPs showed significant associations (p?<?0.05) with fire blight susceptibility traits, while two of these SNPs showed highly significant (p?<?0.001) associations across two different years. This research has provided knowledge about genetic diversity in fire blight S genes in diverse apple accessions and identified candidate HIPM and DIPM alleles that could be used to develop apple cultivars with decreased fire blight susceptibility via marker-assisted breeding or biotechnological approaches.
Project description:miRNAs are key players in multiple biological processes, therefore analysis and characterization of these small regulatory RNAs is a critical step towards better understanding of animal and plant biology. In apple (Malus domestica) two hundred microRNAs are known, which most probably represents only a fraction of miRNAome diversity. As a result, more effort is required to better annotate miRNAs and their functions in this economically important species. We performed deep sequencing of twelve small RNA libraries obtained for fire blight resistant and fire blight sensitive trees. In the sequencing results we identified 116 novel microRNAs and confirmed a majority of previously reported apple miRNAs. We then experimentally verified selected candidates with RT-PCR and stem-loop qPCR and performed differential expression analysis. Finally, we identified and characterized putative targets of all known apple miRNAs. In this study we considerably expand the apple miRNAome by identifying and characterizing dozens of novel microRNAs. Moreover, our data suggests that apple microRNAs might be considered as regulators and markers of fire blight resistance. Actively-growing shoot tip tissue samples were collected from twelve apple trees, which includes three biological replicates of each following scion-rootstock combinations: B.9, G.30, M.111 and M.27.
Project description:High-throughput amplicon sequencing spanning conserved portions of microbial genomes (16s rRNA and ITS) was used in the present study to describe the endophytic microbiota associated with three apple varieties, "Royal Gala," "Golden Delicious," and "Honey Crisp," and two rootstocks, M.9 and M.M.111. The objectives were to (1) determine if the microbiota differs in different rootstocks and apple varieties and (2) determine if specific rootstock-scion combinations influence the microbiota composition of either component.Results indicated that Ascomycota (47.8%), Zygomycota (31.1%), and Basidiomycota (11.6%) were the dominant fungal phyla across all samples. The majority of bacterial sequences were assigned to Proteobacteria (58.4%), Firmicutes (23.8%), Actinobacteria (7.7%), Bacteroidetes (2%), and Fusobacteria (0.4%). Rootstocks appeared to influence the microbiota of associated grafted scion, but the effect was not statistically significant. Pedigree also had an impact on the composition of the endophytic microbiota, where closely-related cultivars had a microbial community that was more similar to each other than it was to a scion cultivar that was more distantly-related by pedigree. The more vigorous rootstock (M.M.111) was observed to possess a greater number of growth-promoting bacterial taxa, relative to the dwarfing rootstock (M.9).The mechanism by which an apple genotype, either rootstock or scion, has a determinant effect on the composition of a microbial community is not known. The similarity of the microbiota in samples with a similar pedigree suggests the possibility of some level of co-evolution or selection as proposed by the "holobiont" concept in which metaorganisms have co-evolved. Clearly, however, the present information is only suggestive, and a more comprehensive analysis is needed.
Project description:Grafting is a well-established agricultural practice in cherry production for clonal propagation, altered plant vigor and architecture, increased tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, precocity, and higher yield. Mobile molecules, such as water, hormones, nutrients, DNAs, RNAs, and proteins play essential roles in rootstock-scion interactions. Small RNAs (sRNAs) are 19 to 30-nucleotides (nt) RNA molecules that are a group of mobile signals in plants. Rootstock-to-scion transfer of transgene-derived small interfering RNAs enabled virus resistance in nontransgenic sweet cherry scion. To determine whether there was long-distance scion-to-rootstock transfer of endogenous sRNAs, we compared sRNAs profiles in bud tissues of an ungrafted 'Gisela 6' rootstock, two sweet cherry 'Emperor Francis' scions as well as their 'Gisela 6' rootstocks. Over two million sRNAs were detected in each sweet cherry scion, where 21-nt sRNA (56.1% and 55.8%) being the most abundant, followed by 24-nt sRNAs (13.1% and 12.5%). Furthermore, we identified over three thousand sRNAs that were potentially transferred from the sweet cherry scions to their corresponding rootstocks. In contrast to the sRNAs in scions, among the transferred sRNAs in rootstocks, the most abundant were 24-nt sRNAs (46.3% and 34.8%) followed by 21-nt sRNAs (14.6% and 19.3%). In other words, 21-nt sRNAs had the least transferred proportion out of the total sRNAs in sources (scions) while 24-nt had the largest proportion. The transferred sRNAs were from 574 cherry transcripts, of which 350 had a match from the Arabidopsis thaliana standard protein set. The finding that "DNA or RNA binding activity" was enriched in the transcripts producing transferred sRNAs indicated that they may affect the biological processes of the rootstocks at different regulatory levels. Overall, the profiles of the transported sRNAs and their annotations revealed in this study facilitate a better understanding of the role of the long-distance transported sRNAs in sweet cherry rootstock-scion interactions as well as in branch-to-branch interactions in a tree.