Activation of disease resistance and defense gene expression in Agrostis stolonifera and Nicotiana benthamiana by a copper-containing pigment and a benzothiadiazole derivative

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Nash, Brady Tavis
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University of Guelph

Soil application of a known activator of Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR), benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid-S-methyl ester (BTH), and Harmonizer, a polychlorinated copper (II) phthalocyanine pigment, reduced severity of Colletotrichum orbiculare in Nicotiana benthamiana by 99% and 38%, respectively. BTH induced expression of nine SAR/progammed cell death-related genes and primed expression of two Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR)-related genes, while Harmonizer induced expression of only one SAR-related gene. Soil application of Harmonizer also reduced severity of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa in Agrostis stolonifera up to 39%, whereas BTH was ineffective. Next generation sequencing identified over 1000 genes in A. stolonifera with two-fold or higher increased expression following Harmonizer treatment relative to a water control, and induced expression of three defense-related genes was confirmed by relative RT-PCR. These results demonstrate that Harmonizer can activate systemic resistance in a dicot and a monocot, but changes in expression of genes indicated that it differed from BTH-activated SAR.

Plant disease, Induced resistance, Nicotiana benthamiana, Agrostis stolonifera, Anthracnose, Dollar spot, RNA-seq