Early down-regulation of chorismate mutase 2 gene expression in a sugarcane cultivar tolerant to Xanthomonas albilineans infection
Xanthomonas albilineans causes leaf scald disease, one of the most economically important diseases of sugarcane. Leaf scald is a systemic and vascular disease that can severely reduce productivity. The best and primary method of leaf scald control is the use of tolerant cultivars. Knowing that cell wall lignification is a plant defense mechanism and that chorismate mutase is relevant in this process, we analyzed the expression pattern of the chorismate mutase 2 (SoCM2) gene in two contrasting sugarcane cultivars by RT-qPCR. A similar pattern of downregulation for the SoCM2 gene was observed in both cultivars; however, after 72h, the tolerant cultivar (RB867515) showed repression of the SoCM2 gene, while for the susceptible cultivar (SP78-4467), SoCM2 gene downregulation occurred only after 144h. Here we propose that early repression of the SoCM2 gene is responsible for tolerance to X. albilineans infection in the sugarcane cultivar RB867515.