Down-regulation of acetolactate synthase compromises OI-1- mediated resistance to powdery mildew in tomato

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Abstract

Background - In a cDNA-AFLP analysis comparing transcript levels between powdery mildew (Oidium neolycopersici)-susceptible tomato cultivar Moneymaker (MM) and near isogenic lines (NILs) carrying resistance gene Ol-1 or Ol-4, a transcript-derived fragment (TDF) M11E69-195 was found to be present in NIL-Ol-1 but absent in MM and NIL-Ol-4. This TDF shows homology to acetolactate synthase (ALS). ALS is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine, and it is also a target of commercial herbicides. Results - Three ALS homologs ALS1, ALS2, ALS3 were identified in the tomato genome sequence. ALS1 and ALS2 show high similarity, whereas ALS3 is more divergent. Transient silencing of both ALS1 and ALS2 in NIL-Ol-1 by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) resulted in chlorotic leaf areas that showed increased susceptibility to O. neolycopersici (On). VIGS results were confirmed by stable transformation of NIL-Ol-1 using an RNAi construct targeting both ALS1 and ALS2. In contrast, silencing of the three ALS genes individually by RNAi constructs did not compromise the resistance of NIL-Ol-1. Application of the herbicide chlorsulfuron to NIL-Ol-1 mimicked the VIGS phenotype and caused loss of its resistance to On. Susceptible MM and On-resistant line NIL-Ol-4 carrying a nucleotide binding site and leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) resistance gene were also treated with chlorsulfuron. Neither the susceptibility of MM nor the resistance of NIL-Ol-4 was affected. Conclusions - ALS is neither involved in basal defense, nor in resistance conferred by NB-LRR type resistance genes. Instead, it is specifically involved in Ol-1-mediated resistance to tomato powdery mildew, suggesting that ALS-induced change in amino acid homeostasis is important for resistance conferred by Ol-1.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • glutamate-dehydrogenase gene
  • acetohydroxyacid synthase
  • monogenic-resistance
  • defense responses
  • nicotiana-tabacum
  • ol-genes
  • arabidopsis
  • plants
  • inhibition
  • biosynthesis

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