Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Contrasting Plant Responses of Sorghum bicolor upon Colonization by Two Formae Speciales of Sporisorium reilianum

2022 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Contrasting Plant Responses of Sorghum bicolor upon Colonization by Two Formae Speciales of Sporisorium reilianum​
Poloni, A.; Garde, R.; Dittiger, L. D.; Heidrich, T.; Müller, C.; Drechsler, F. & Zhao, Y. et al.​ (2022) 
International Journal of Molecular Sciences23(16) pp. 8864​.​ DOI: 

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Poloni, Alana; Garde, Ravindra; Dittiger, Lukas Dorian; Heidrich, Theresa; Müller, Christian; Drechsler, Frank; Zhao, Yulei; Mazumdar, Tilottama; Schirawski, Jan
The biotrophic fungus Sporisorium reilianum exists in two host-adapted formae speciales that cause head smut in maize (S. reilianum f. sp. zeae; SRZ) and sorghum (S. reilianum f. sp. reilianum; SRS). In sorghum, the spread of SRZ is limited to the leaves. To understand the plant responses to each forma specialis, we determined the transcriptome of sorghum leaves inoculated either with SRS or SRZ. Fungal inoculation led to gene expression rather than suppression in sorghum. SRZ induced a much greater number of genes than SRS. Each forma specialis induced a distinct set of plant genes. The SRZ-induced genes were involved in plant defense mainly at the plasma membrane and were associated with the Molecular Function Gene Ontology terms chitin binding, abscisic acid binding, protein phosphatase inhibitor activity, terpene synthase activity, chitinase activity, transmembrane transporter activity and signaling receptor activity. Specifically, we found an upregulation of the genes involved in phospholipid degradation and sphingolipid biosynthesis, suggesting that the lipid content of the plant plasma membrane may contribute to preventing the systemic spread of SRZ. In contrast, the colonization of sorghum with SRS increased the expression of the genes involved in the detoxification of cellular oxidants and in the unfolded protein response at the endoplasmic reticulum, as well as of the genes modifying the cuticle wax and lipid composition through the generation of alkanes and phytosterols. These results identified plant compartments that may have a function in resistance against SRZ (plasma membrane) and susceptibility towards SRS (endoplasmic reticulum) that need more attention in the future.
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International Journal of Molecular Sciences 
Albrecht-von-Haller-Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften ; Abteilung Molekularbiologie und Physiologie der Pflanze ; Göttinger Zentrum für Molekulare Biowissenschaften 
German Initiative of Excellence
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft



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