Defense responses of lentil (Lens culinaris) genotypes carrying non-allelic ascochyta blight resistance genes to Ascochyta lentis infection

Ehsan Sari, Vijai Bhadauria, Larissa Ramsay, M. Hossein Borhan, Judith Lichtenzveig, Kirstin E. Bett, Albert Vandenberg, Sabine Banniza

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Ascochyta blight of lentil is an important fungal disease in many lentil-producing regions of the world causing major yield and grain quality losses. Quick shifts in aggressiveness of the population of the causal agent Ascochyta lentis mandates developing germplasm with novel and durable resistance. In the absence of complete resistance, lentil genotypes CDC Robin and 964a-46 have frequently been used as sources of partial resistance to ascochyta blight and carry non-allelic ascochyta blight resistance genes. RNA-seq analysis was conducted to identify differences in the transcriptome in CDC Robin, 964a-46 and the susceptible check Eston after inoculation with A. lentis. Candidate defense genes differentially expressed between the genotypes had hypothetical functions in various layers of plant defense, including pathogen recognition, phytohormone signaling pathwayspathway and downstream defense responses. CDC Robin and 964a-46 activated different receptor like kinase genes tentatively associated with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) recognition and nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) receptors upon A. lentis infection, and differed in their activation of salicylic acid, abscisic acid and jasmonic acid / ethylene signal transduction pathways. These differences were reflected in the differential expression of downstream defense response such as pathogenesis-related proteins, and genes associated with the induction of cell death and cell-wall reinforcement. A significant correlation between expression levels of a selection of genes based on quantitative real-time PCR and their expression levels estimated through RNA-seq demonstrated the technical and analyticalalalytical accuracy of RNA-seq for identification of genes differentially expressed among genotypes. The presence of different resistance mechanisms in 964a-46 and CDC Robin indicates their value for pyramiding gene leading to more durable resistance to ascochyta blight.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0204124
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2018


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