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Open AccessArticle

The CaAP2/ERF064 Regulates Dual Functions in Pepper: Plant Cell Death and Resistance to Phytophthora capsici

College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
Tianjin Vegetable Research Center, Tianjin 300192, China
Xuhuai Region Huaiyin Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Huai’an 223001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(7), 541;
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Epigenetics of Biotic Stress Response in Plants)
Phytophthora blight is one of the most destructive diseases of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) globally. The APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factors (AP2/ERF) genes play a crucial role in plant response to biotic stresses but, to date, have not been studied in the context of Phytophthora resistance in pepper. Here, we documented potential roles for the pepper CaAP2/ERF064 gene in inducing cell death and conferring resistance to Phytophthora capsici (P. capsici) infection. Results revealed that the N-terminal, AP2 domain, and C-terminal of CaAP2/ERF064 protein is responsible for triggering cell death in Nicotiana benthamiana (N. benthamiana). Moreover, the transcription of CaAP2/ERF064 in plant is synergistically regulated by the Methyl-Jasmonate (MeJA) and ethephon (ET) signaling pathway. CaAP2/ERF064 was found to regulate the expression of CaBPR1, which is a pathogenesis-related (PR) gene of pepper. Furthermore, the silencing of CaAP2/ERF064 compromised the pepper plant resistance to P. capsici by reducing the transcript level of defense-related genes CaBPR1, CaPO2, and CaSAR82, while the ectopic expression of CaAP2/ERF064 in N. benthamiana plant elevated the expression level of NbPR1b and enhanced resistance to P. capsici. These results suggest that CaAP2/ERF064 could positively regulate the defense response against P. capsici by modulating the transcription of PR genes in the plant. View Full-Text
Keywords: pepper; AP2/ERF; P. capsici; cell death; PR gene pepper; AP2/ERF; P. capsici; cell death; PR gene
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Jin, J.-H.; Zhang, H.-X.; Ali, M.; Wei, A.-M.; Luo, D.-X.; Gong, Z.-H. The CaAP2/ERF064 Regulates Dual Functions in Pepper: Plant Cell Death and Resistance to Phytophthora capsici. Genes 2019, 10, 541.

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