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Pathogenicity and hormonal regulation in the Moniliophthora perniciosa x Solanum lycopersicum interaction

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Juliana Leles Costa
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/STB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Antonio Vargas de Oliveira Figueira; Juliana José; Jorge Maurício Costa Mondego; Paulo Jose Pereira Lima Teixeira; Victor Alexandre Vitorello
Advisor: Antonio Vargas de Oliveira Figueira

Moniliophthora pernicisa is the causal agent of witches\' broom disease in cocoa (Theobroma cacao). The disease symptoms comprise loss of apical dominance, thickening and proliferation of axillary shoots, shift from inflorescence into vegetative meristem, parthernocarpy and necrotic lesions on fruits, suggesting a host hormonal imbalance. The availability of an isolated of S-biotype M. perniciosa, which colonizes tomato, enabled the utilization of the miniature tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cultivar \'Micro-Tom\' (MT) as a suitable model to study the pathosystem M. perniciosa x S. lycopersicum. In addition to the characteristic symptoms of the infection in MT, the availability of mutants and transgenic lines introgessed into MT, with changes in plant metabolism and hormonal sensitivity, enable the investigation of the role of plant hormones in the development of symptoms. Initially, we evaluated the aggressiveness of three S-biotype M. perniciosa isolates. The isolate \'Tiradentes\' showed greater aggressiveness infecting MT, with higher plant infection incidence, greater stem thickening, reduction in plant height, increase in fruit locule number and reduction in root dry weight. Mutants with altered auxin perception (diageotropica e entire) and the transgenic line expressing a cytokinin oxidase gene of arabidopsis (35S::AtCKX2) differed in stem thickening and fruit locule number distribution, as compared to MT. The transgenic line 35S::AtCKX2 differed significantly from MT, showing lower incidence of infection. The thickening of the stem may be related with an increase in area of the cortex, especially xylem and phloem. The exogenous application of synthetic cytokinin benzyl adenine (BA) and auxin naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) in MT induces similar symptoms to plants infected with M. perniciosa. Cytokinin (ARR5::GUS) and auxin (DR5::GUS) signaling reporter transgenic lines revealed differential cytokinin signaling 24 h e 36 h hours after inoculation (HAI) and differential auxin signaling in 48 HAI. Infection of MT by M. perniciosa increased the content of JA, SA and auxin during the development of symptoms from 5 d to 30 DAI, with greater increase at an early stage of symptoms development (5 days after inoculation - DAI), whereas abcisic acid content increased in 20 and 30 DAI, and only AS was detected in dicariotic mycelium of the S-biotype M. perniciosa. Cytokinin biosynthesis (IPT), activating (LOG), and breakdown (CKX) genes and response to cytokynin genes (ARRs e CRF) and auxin (AUX/IAA, ARFs, SAUR e GH3) were induced in MT infected in 12 h a 5 DAI, with greater accumulation of transcripts in 30 DAI. M. perniciosa induced higher levels of IPT, LOG, CKX, ARRs, and CRF genes and auxin biosynthesis genes at an ealry stage of infection (12 h a 5 DAI) in 35S::AtCKX2, as compared to MT. The effect of the infection on increasing fruit locule number seems to be independent or downstream fasciated, Mouse ears and ovate mutation. Lanceolate mutation seems to play a role in reducing M. perniciosa ability of increasing fruit locule number. The results suggest infection of MT by S-biotpye M. perniciosa alters levels/signaling of the hormones, especially auxin and cytokinin, inducing stem thickening (increasing xylem, phloem and cortex), reduction in plant height, root dry weight and increase in fruit locule number (AU)