Special Issue "Genetics and Epigenetics of Biotic Stress Response in Plants"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Rosa Rao Website E-Mail
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Agraria, Napoles, Italy
Guest Editor
Prof. Giandomenico Corrado E-Mail
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biotic stress causes significant agricultural losses in spite of the constant progress in fighting adverse organisms. Currently, there is an unmet need for more eco-efficient and effective strategies to increase plant resistance to stress. In agriculture, increases in resource efficiency, environmental performance, and food primary production need to be supported by basic science and translational research. The implementation of improved or novel approaches are strongly dependent on the advancement of knowledge on the plant interaction with biotic stressors. This information is the bases towards an environmentally safer agriculture and ultimately, the foundation of a science-driven bio-based economy.

The forthcoming Special Issue aims to provide an overview of recent topics on plant genetics and epigenetics in plant–biotic stress response, with emphasis on fundamental or applied studies that aim to decipher the dynamic molecular responses of plants as they adapt and respond to other living organisms (beneficial and antagonistic). Priority will be also given to works that elucidate the changes in plant growth, development, and yield induced by a stress, or that report on the molecular basis of the plastic phenotypic response of the plants to the environment. Moreover, studies on the genetic and epigenetic regulatory networks that underpin plant response to single or combined stresses, including abiotic stress, are also welcome. Topics also include the phenotypic and molecular evaluation of plant germplasm in relation to biotic stress, the detection and validation of genes or genomic regions involved in plant–stress interaction, and (pre-)breeding efforts to increase tolerance or resistance, also using biotechnological and genomic approaches.

Prof. Rosa Rao
Prof. Giandomenico Corrado
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gene expression
  • transcription
  • network models
  • antagonists
  • beneficial organisms
  • insects
  • fungi
  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • DNA methylation
  • smallRNA
  • genomics
  • transcriptomics
  • epigenomics
  • biotechnology
  • genome editing

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The CaAP2/ERF064 Regulates Dual Functions in Pepper: Plant Cell Death and Resistance to Phytophthora capsici
Genes 2019, 10(7), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10070541 - 17 Jul 2019
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Epigenetics of Biotic Stress Response in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
DNA Methylation Analysis of the Citrullus lanatus Response to Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus Infection by Whole-Genome Bisulfite Sequencing
Genes 2019, 10(5), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10050344 - 07 May 2019
Abstract
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark associated with plant immunity, but little is known about its roles in viral infection of watermelon. We carried out whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of watermelon leaves at 0 h (ck), 48 h, and 25 days post-inoculation with [...] Read more.
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark associated with plant immunity, but little is known about its roles in viral infection of watermelon. We carried out whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of watermelon leaves at 0 h (ck), 48 h, and 25 days post-inoculation with Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV). The number of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) increased during CGMMV infection and 2788 DMR-associated genes (DMGs) were screened out among three libraries. Most DMRs and DMGs were obtained under the CHH context. These DMGs were significantly enriched in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways of secondary biosynthesis and metabolism, plant–pathogen interactions, Toll-like receptor signaling, and ABC transporters. Additionally, DMGs encoding PR1a, CaMs, calcium-binding protein, RIN4, BAK1, WRKYs, RBOHs, STKs, and RLPs/RLKs were involved in the watermelon–CGMMV interaction and signaling. The association between DNA methylation and gene expression was analyzed by RNA-seq and no clear relationship was detected. Moreover, downregulation of genes in the RdDM pathway suggested the reduced RdDM-directed CHH methylation plays an important role in antiviral defense in watermelon. Our findings provide genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of watermelon and will aid in revealing the molecular mechanism in response to CGMMV infection at the methylation level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Epigenetics of Biotic Stress Response in Plants)
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