Induction of glutathione S-transferase genes of Nicotiana benthamiana following infection by Colletotrichum destructivum and C. orbiculare and involvement of one in resistance
Four glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes, NbGSTU1, NbGSTU2, NbGSTU3, and NbGSTF1, were amplified from cDNA of Nicotiana benthamiana leaves infected with Colletotrichum destructivum using primers based on conserved regions of N. tabacum GST sequences. Expression of NbGSTU1 and NbGSTU3 increased progressively during infection by either C. destructivum or Colletotrichum orbiculare, except for a slight decrease by NbGSTU1 late in the infection, whereas NbGSTU2 and NbGSTF1 expression remained relatively constant. Each of the four genes was cloned into a PVX vector for virus-induced gene silencing, and reduced expression of the four genes was detected by RT-PCR.Astatistically significant increase in susceptibility of N. benthamiana to infection following gene silencing was found only for NbGSTU1-silenced plants, which had 130% more lesions and 67% more colonization by C. orbiculare compared with control plants. These results demonstrate that the different GST genes respond in different ways to fungal infection, and at least one plant GST gene has an important role in disease development.