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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

A novel workflow correlating RNA-seq data to Phythophthora infestans resistance levels in wild Solanum species and potato clones

Frades, Itziar; Abreha, Kibrom Berhe; Proux-Wera, Estelle; Lankinen, Åsa; Andreasson, Erik; Alexandersson, Erik


Comparative transcriptomics between species can provide valuable understanding of plant-pathogen interactions. Here, we focus on wild Solarium species and potato clones with varying degree of resistance against Phytophthora infestans, which causes the devastating late blight disease in potato. The transcriptomes of three wild Solanurn species native to Southern Sweden, Solarium dulcamara, Solanum nigrum, and Solanurn physalifolium were compared to three potato clones, Desiree (cv.), SW93-1015 and Sarpo Mira. Desiree and S. physalifolium are susceptible to P. infestans whereas the other four have different degrees of resistance. By building transcript families based on de novo assembled RNA-seq across species and clones and correlating these to resistance phenotypes, we created a novel workflow to identify families with expanded or depleted number of transcripts in relation to the P. infestans resistance level. Analysis was facilitated by inferring functional annotations based on the family structure and semantic clustering. More transcript families were expanded in the resistant clones and species and the enriched functions of these were associated to expected gene ontology (GO) terms for resistance mechanisms such as hypersensitive response, host programmed cell death and endopeptidase activity. However, a number of unexpected functions and transcripts were also identified, for example transmembrane transport and protein acylation expanded in the susceptible group and a cluster of Zinc knuckle family proteins expanded in the resistant group. Over 400 expressed putative resistance (R)genes were identified and resistant clones Sarpo Mira and 5W93-1015 had ca 25% more expressed putative R-genes than susceptible cultivar Desiree. However, no differences in numbers of susceptibility (S)gene homologs were seen between species and clones. In addition, we identified P infestans transcripts including effectors in the early stages of P. infestans-Solanum interactions.


Solanum; Phytophthora infestans; RNA-seq; R-genes; potato; resistance

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2015, Volume: 6, article number: 718