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Genes 2016, 7(12), 109; doi:10.3390/genes7120109

Divergent Expression Patterns in Two Vernicia Species Revealed the Potential Role of the Hub Gene VmAP2/ERF036 in Resistance to Fusarium oxysporum in Vernicia montana

1,2
,
1,2
,
1,2
,
1,2,* and 1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou 311400, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Cinelli
Received: 11 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11192 KB, uploaded 1 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Tung oil tree (Vernicia fordii) is a promising industrial oil crop; however, this tree is highly susceptible to Fusarium wilt disease. Conversely, Vernicia montana is resistant to the pathogen. The APETALA2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor (AP2/ERF) transcription factor superfamily has been reported to play a significant role in resistance to Fusarium oxysporum. In this study, comprehensive analysis identified 75 and 81 putative Vf/VmAP2/ERF transcription factor-encoding genes in V. fordii and V. montana, respectively, which were divided into AP2, ERF, related to ABI3 and VP1 (RAV) and Soloist families. After F. oxysporum infection, a majority of AP2/ERF superfamily genes showed strong patterns of repression in both V. fordii and V. montana. We then identified 53 pairs of one-to-one orthologs in V. fordii and V. montana, with most pairs of orthologous genes exhibiting similar expression in response to the pathogen. Further investigation of Vf/VmAP2/ERF gene expression in plant tissues indicated that the pairs of genes with different expression patterns in response to F. oxysporum tended to exhibit different tissue profiles in the two species. In addition, VmAP2/ERF036, showing the strongest interactions with 666 genes, was identified as a core hub gene mediating resistance. Moreover, qRT-PCR results indicated VmAP2/ERF036 showed repressed expression while its orthologous gene VfAP2/ERF036 had the opposite expression pattern during pathogen infection. Overall, comparative analysis of the Vf/VmAP2/ERF superfamily and indication of a potential hub resistance gene in resistant and susceptible Vernicia species provides valuable information for understanding the molecular basis and selection of essential functional genes for V. fordii genetic engineering to control Fusarium wilt disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: AP2/ERF transcription factor; tung oil tree; Fusarium wilt disease; gene expression network; hub gene AP2/ERF transcription factor; tung oil tree; Fusarium wilt disease; gene expression network; hub gene
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Zhang, Q.; Gao, M.; Wu, L.; Wang, Y.; Chen, Y. Divergent Expression Patterns in Two Vernicia Species Revealed the Potential Role of the Hub Gene VmAP2/ERF036 in Resistance to Fusarium oxysporum in Vernicia montana. Genes 2016, 7, 109.

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