Transcription profiling of the infection process of Botrytis cinerea on whole tomato plant leaves

Dhruv Aditya Srivastava 1 Eswari Pandaranayaka PJ 1 Omer Frenkel 2 Dov Prusky 3 Yigal Elad 2 Arye Harel 1
1Vegetable and Field Crops, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion, Israel
2Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion, Israel
3Postharvest and Food Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion, Israel

Botrytis cinerea is a foliar necrotrophic fungal-pathogen which is capable of infecting over 1,400 plant species 1 and was ranked second worldwide for its scientific and economic importance 2. In spite of the importance of this pathogen, a transcription profiling of its infection process on a whole plant (as opposed to detached tissue) of widely used crop (except for cucumber and lettuce) was not studied. We analyzed the transcriptome of B. cinerea (strain B05.10) infection on one of the most important vegetable crops in the world, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, cv. M82). We sampled six-week-old infected leaf tissues at 0, 16, 23, 40, and 48 hours post infection. Approximately 35, or 45% of B. cineria or S. lycopersicum genes were differentially expressed during pathogenicity, respectively, demonstrating the global effect of this process. Preliminary KEGG enrichment analysis of B. cinerea transcriptome illustrated over-expression of genes involved in regulation of transcription, translation, DNA repair, and recombination, in early stages of the infection. While genes involved in interaction with the environment, and plant secondary metabolite synthesis pathways (e.g., phenylpropanoid and isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis) were upregulated in the later part of the infection (i.e., establishment). The latter could illustrate how B. cinerea manipulates plant growth/defense systems to accomplish establishment. Altogether, our analysis and its future validation may increase our understanding of plant-fungal interactions which are essential for successful infection.

1 Elad, Y., Pertot, I., Cotes Prado, A.M., and Stewart, A. (2016) Plant hosts of Botrytis spp. In Botrytis - the Fungus, the Pathogen and its Management in Agricultural Systems.

2 Dean, R., Van Kan, J.A., Pretorius, Z.A., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Di Pietro, A., Spanu, P.D. et al. (2012) The Top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology. Mol Plant Pathol 13: 414-430.

Equal contribution - D.A. Srivastava and E. Pandaranayaka PJ