Enhanced resistance against Thielaviopsis basicola in transgenic cotton plants expressing Arabidopsis NPR1 gene.
Additional Document Info
Black root rot, caused by Thielaviopsis basicola, is an important disease in several crops including cotton. We studied the response of Arabidopsis NPR1 (AtNPR1)-expressing cotton lines, previously shown to be highly resistant to a diverse set of pathogens, to a challenge from T. basicola. In four different experiments, we found significant degree of tolerance in the transgenic lines to black root rot. Although transformants showed the typical root discoloration symptoms similar to the wild-type control plants following infection, their roots tended to recover faster and resumed normal growth. Better performance of transgenic plants is reflected by the fact that they have significantly higher shoot and root mass, longer shoot length, and greater number of boll-set. Transcriptional analysis of the defense response showed that the roots of AtNPR1-overexpressing transgenic plants exhibited stronger and faster induction of most of these defense-related genes, particularly PR1, thaumatin, glucanase, LOX1, and chitinase. The results obtained in this investigation provide further support for a broad-spectrum nature of the resistance conferred by overexpression of AtNPR1 gene in cotton.