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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Identification of Expressed Genes During Infection of Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp pekinensis) by Plasmodiophora brassicae

Sundelin, Thomas; Jensen, Dan Funck; Lübeck, Mette


Plasmodiophora brassicae is an obligate, biotrophic pathogen causing the club-root disease of crucifers. Despite its importance as a plant pathogen, little is known about P. brassicae at the molecular level as most of its life cycle takes place inside the plant host, and axenic culturing is impossible. Discovery of genes expressed during infection and gene organization are the first steps toward a better understanding of the pathogen-host interaction. Here, suppression subtractive hybridization was used to search for the P. brassicae genes expressed during plant infection. One-hundred and forty ESTs were found of which 49% proved to be P. brassicae genes. Ten novel P. brassicae genes were identified, and the genomic sequences surrounding four of the ESTs were acquired using genome walking. Alignment of the ESTs and the genomic DNA sequences confirmed that P. brassicae genes are intron rich and that the introns are small. These results show that it is possible to discover new P. brassicae genes from a mixed pool of both plant and pathogen cDNA. The results also revealed that some of the P. brassicae genes expressed in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis) were identical to the genes expressed in the infection of Arabidopsis plants, indicating that these genes play an important role in P. brassicae infection.


Club root; gene discovery; genome walking; plant pathogen; suppression subtractive hybridization

Published in

Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
2011, Volume: 58, number: 4, pages: 310-314

    SLU Authors

    • Jensen, Dan Funck

      • Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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