Research Article

Expression analysis of transcription factors from the interaction between cacao and Moniliophthora perniciosa (Tricholomataceae)

Published: July 06, 2010
Genet. Mol. Res. 9 (3) : 1279-1297 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/vol9-3gmr825
Cite this Article:
(2010). Expression analysis of transcription factors from the interaction between cacao and Moniliophthora perniciosa (Tricholomataceae). Genet. Mol. Res. 9(3): gmr825. https://doi.org/10.4238/vol9-3gmr825
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Abstract

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is one of the most important tropical crops; however, production is threatened by numerous pathogens, including the hemibiotrophic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa, which causes witches’ broom disease. To understand the mechanisms that lead to the development of this disease in cacao, we focused our attention on cacao transcription factors (TFs), which act as master regulators of cellular processes and are important for the fine-tuning of plant defense responses. We developed a macroarray with 88 TF cDNA from previously obtained cacao-M. perniciosa interaction libraries. Seventy-two TFs were found differentially expressed between the susceptible (Catongo) and resistant (TSH1188) genotypes and/or during the disease time course - from 24 h to 30 days after infection. Most of the differentially expressed TFs belonged to the bZIP, MYB and WRKY families and presented opposite expression patterns in susceptible and resistant cacao-M. perniciosa interactions (i.e., up-regulated in Catongo and down-regulated in TSH1188). The results of the macroarray were confirmed for bZIP and WRKY TFs by real-time PCR. These differentially expressed TFs are good candidates for subsequent functional analysis as well as for plant engineering. Some of these TFs could also be localized on the cacao reference map related to witches’ broom resistance, facilitating the breeding and selection of resistant cacao trees.

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is one of the most important tropical crops; however, production is threatened by numerous pathogens, including the hemibiotrophic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa, which causes witches’ broom disease. To understand the mechanisms that lead to the development of this disease in cacao, we focused our attention on cacao transcription factors (TFs), which act as master regulators of cellular processes and are important for the fine-tuning of plant defense responses. We developed a macroarray with 88 TF cDNA from previously obtained cacao-M. perniciosa interaction libraries. Seventy-two TFs were found differentially expressed between the susceptible (Catongo) and resistant (TSH1188) genotypes and/or during the disease time course - from 24 h to 30 days after infection. Most of the differentially expressed TFs belonged to the bZIP, MYB and WRKY families and presented opposite expression patterns in susceptible and resistant cacao-M. perniciosa interactions (i.e., up-regulated in Catongo and down-regulated in TSH1188). The results of the macroarray were confirmed for bZIP and WRKY TFs by real-time PCR. These differentially expressed TFs are good candidates for subsequent functional analysis as well as for plant engineering. Some of these TFs could also be localized on the cacao reference map related to witches’ broom resistance, facilitating the breeding and selection of resistant cacao trees.