Research Article

Post-transcriptional silencing of the SGE1 gene induced by a dsRNA hairpin in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp cubense, the causal agent of Panama disease

Published: April 04, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7941 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027941

Abstract

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp cubense (Foc), the causal agent of Panama disease, is responsible for economic losses in banana crops worldwide. The identification of genes that effectively act on pathogenicity and/or virulence may contribute to the development of different strategies for disease control and the production of resistant plants. The objective of the current study was to analyze the importance of SGE1 gene expression in Foc virulence through post-transcriptional silencing using a double-stranded RNA hairpin. Thirteen transformants were selected based on different morphological characteristics, and sporulation in these transformants was significantly reduced by approximately 95% (P SGE1 expression levels in the transformant strains were reduced by 27 to 47% compared to those in the wild-type strain. A pathogenicity analysis revealed that the transformants were able to reach the rhizomes and pseudostems of the inoculated banana plants. However, the transformants induced initial disease symptoms in the banana plants approximately 10 days later than that by the wild-type Foc, and initial disease symptoms persisted even at 45 days after inoculation. These results indicate that the SGE1 gene is directly involved in the virulence of Foc. Therefore, SGE1 may be a potential candidate for host-induced gene silencing in banana plants.

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp cubense (Foc), the causal agent of Panama disease, is responsible for economic losses in banana crops worldwide. The identification of genes that effectively act on pathogenicity and/or virulence may contribute to the development of different strategies for disease control and the production of resistant plants. The objective of the current study was to analyze the importance of SGE1 gene expression in Foc virulence through post-transcriptional silencing using a double-stranded RNA hairpin. Thirteen transformants were selected based on different morphological characteristics, and sporulation in these transformants was significantly reduced by approximately 95% (P SGE1 expression levels in the transformant strains were reduced by 27 to 47% compared to those in the wild-type strain. A pathogenicity analysis revealed that the transformants were able to reach the rhizomes and pseudostems of the inoculated banana plants. However, the transformants induced initial disease symptoms in the banana plants approximately 10 days later than that by the wild-type Foc, and initial disease symptoms persisted even at 45 days after inoculation. These results indicate that the SGE1 gene is directly involved in the virulence of Foc. Therefore, SGE1 may be a potential candidate for host-induced gene silencing in banana plants.