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Genetic analysis of Theobroma cacao defense response against Moniliophthora perniciosa, the causal agent of witches broom

Abstract

Witches broom, caused by the basidiomycete Moniliophthora perniciosa, is an important disease of cacao (Theobroma cacao). The characterized sources of resistance contain distinct genomic regions associated with, and display different kinetics of defense gene expression. To dissect the defense response using resistant or susceptible cacao genotypes, inoculated or not with isolates from various biotypes, the expression of genes encoding LRR-kinase receptor-like and components of the subsequent cascade response; enzymes involved in jasmonate, ethylene and salicylate biosynthesis; enzymes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis and pathogenesis-related proteins will be evaluated based on sequences available in interaction libraries or by amplification using conserved sequence regions. The pattern of gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in individuals from a segregating population for resistance would be used to locate these genes associated with defense in relation to known QTLs. The promoter region of genes induced by infection will be characterized and functionally analysed, after optimization of cacao genetic transformation. The tomato Micro-Tom cultivar, a miniature genetic model susceptible to the M. perniciosa biotype-S will be employed to investigate the role of hormones in pathogenesis using available mutants, and also for functional analysis of candidate genes associated with defense by transgenesis. Moniliophthora perniciosa isolates from the Brazilian Amazon will be categorized based on microsatellites and characterized according to aggressiveness to differential cacao genotypes, and their putative virulence and/or pathogenicity genes analysed for polymorphism and in vitro expression under stress condition. Fungal cell wall proteins already identified will be expressed heterologously and their effects on defense response activation will be evalauted. Therefore, the project intends to demonstrate that the defense response of T. cacao to M. perniciosa would be regulated by the jasmonate/ethylene pathway, triggered by LRR-kinase like receptors; with some of the investigated genes would be co-localized with identified resistance QTLs; the defense response would be activated by fungal cell wall components; and that the differential aggressiveness of isolates would associated with genes expressed under stress conditions. (AU)

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Scientific publications (8)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SCOTTON, DANIELLE CAMARGO; AZEVEDO, MARIANA DA SILVA; SESTARI, IVAN; DA SILVA, JAMILLE SANTOS; SOUZA, LUCAS ANJOS; PEREIRA PERES, LAZARO EUSTAQUIO; LEAL, JR., GILDEMBERG AMORIM; FIGUEIRA, ANTONIO. Expression of the Theobroma cacao Bax-inhibitor-1 gene in tomato reduces infection by the hemibiotrophic pathogen Moniliophthora perniciosa. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 18, n. 8, p. 1101-1112, OCT 2017. Web of Science Citations: 1.
ARTERO, A. S.; SILVA, J. Q.; ALBUQUERQUE, P. S. B.; BRESSAN, E. A.; LEAL, JR., G. A.; SEBBENN, A. M.; GRIFFITH, G. W.; FIGUEIRA, A. Spatial genetic structure and dispersal of the cacao pathogen Moniliophthora perniciosa in the Brazilian Amazon. PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 66, n. 6, p. 912-923, AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 2.
LITHOLDO, JR., CELSO G.; LEAL, JR., GILDEMBERG A.; ALBUQUERQUE, PAULO S. B.; FIGUEIRA, ANTONIO. Differential expression of jasmonate biosynthesis genes in cacao genotypes contrasting for resistance against Moniliophthora perniciosa. Plant Cell Reports, v. 34, n. 10, p. 1747-1759, OCT 2015. Web of Science Citations: 3.
DEGANELLO, J.; LEAL, JR., G. A.; ROSSI, M. L.; PERES, L. E. P.; FIGUEIRA, A. Interaction of Moniliophthora perniciosa biotypes with Micro-Tom tomato: a model system to investigate the witches' broom disease of Theobroma cacao. PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 63, n. 6, p. 1251-1263, DEC 2014. Web of Science Citations: 8.
ARIKITA, FERNANDA NAMIE; AZEVEDO, MARIANA SILVA; SCOTTON, DANIELLE CAMARGO; PINTO, MAISA DE SIQUEIRA; FIGUEIRA, ANTONIO; PEREIRA PERES, LAZARO EUSTAQUIO. Novel natural genetic variation controlling the competence to form adventitious roots and shoots from the tomato wild relative Solanum pennellii. Plant Science, v. 199, p. 121-130, FEB 2013. Web of Science Citations: 9.
LOMBARDI-CRESTANA, SIMONE; AZEVEDO, MARIANA DA SILVA; FERREIRA E SILVA, GERALDO FELIPE; PINO, LILIAN ELLEN; APPEZZATO-DA-GLORIA, BEATRIZ; FIGUEIRA, ANTONIO; SILVEIRA NOGUEIRA, FABIO TEBALDI; PEREIRA PERES, LAZARO EUSTAQUIO. The Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum cv. Micro-Tom) Natural Genetic Variation Rg1 and the DELLA Mutant Procera Control the Competence Necessary to Form Adventitious Roots and Shoots. Journal of Experimental Botany, v. 63, n. 15, p. 5689-5703, SEP 2012. Web of Science Citations: 22.
PINHEIRO, T. T.; LITHOLDO, JR., C. G.; SERENO, M. L.; LEAL, JR., G. A.; ALBUQUERQUE, P. S. B.; FIGUEIRA, A. Establishing references for gene expression analyses by RT-qPCR in Theobroma cacao tissues. Genetics and Molecular Research, v. 10, n. 4, p. 3291-3305, 2011. Web of Science Citations: 19.
LEAL, GILDEMBERG A.; GOMES, LUIZ H.; ALBUQUERQUE, PAULO S. B.; TAVARES, FLAVIO C. A.; FIGUEIRA, ANTONIO. Searching for Moniliophthora perniciosa pathogenicity genes. FUNGAL BIOLOGY, v. 114, n. 10, p. 842-854, OCT 2010. Web of Science Citations: 15.

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