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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Major latex protein-like encoding genes contribute to Rhizoctonia solani defense responses in sugar beet

Holmquist, Louise; Dolfors, Fredrik; Fogelqvist, Johan; Cohn, Jonathan; Kraft, Thomas; Dixelius, Christina


Sugar beets are attacked by several pathogens that cause root damages. Rhizoctonia (Greek for "root killer") is one of them. Rhizoctonia root rot has become an increasing problem for sugar beet production and to decrease yield losses agronomical measures are adopted. Here, two partially resistant and two susceptible sugar beet genotypes were used for transcriptome analysis to discover new defense genes to this fungal disease, information to be implemented in molecular resistance breeding. Among 217 transcripts with increased expression at 2 days post-infection (dpi), three resistance-like genes were found. These genes were not significantly elevated at 5 dpi, a time point when increased expression of three Bet v I/Major latex protein (MLP) homologous genes BvMLP1, BvMLP2 and BvML3 was observed in the partially resistant genotypes. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis on diseased sugar beet seedlings validated the activity of BvMLP1 and BvMLP3 observed in the transcriptome during challenge by R. solani. The three BvMLP genes were cloned and overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana to further dissect their individual contribution. Transgenic plants were also compared to T-DNA mutants of orthologous MLP genes. Plants overexpressing BvMLP1 and BvMLP3 showed significantly less infection whereas additive effects were seen on Atmlp1/Atmlp3 double mutants. The data suggest that BvMLP1 and BvMLP3 may contribute to the reduction of the Rhizoctonia root rot disease in sugar beet. Impact on the defense reaction from other differential expressed genes observed in the study is discussed.


Arabidopsis; Defense genes; Major latex protein-like; Rhizoctonia solani; RNA-seq; Sugar beet

Published in

Molecular Genetics and Genomics
2021, Volume: 296, number: 1, pages: 155-164