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Overexpression of the Tomato Asc-1 Gene Mediates High Insensitivity to AAL Toxins and Fumonisin B1 in Tomato Hairy Roots and Confers Resistance to Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici in Nicotiana umbratica Plants

January 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  1
Pages  35 - 42

Bas F. Brandwagt , Tarcies J. A. Kneppers , H. John J. Nijkamp , and Jacques Hille

Department of Genetics, Free University, Institute for Molecular Biological Sciences, BioCentrum Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Accepted 5 September 2001.

The sphinganine-analog mycotoxins (SAMs) fumonisin B1 and AAL toxins are inhibitors of eukaryotic sphinganine N-acyltransferase in vitro. Treatment of eukaryotes with SAMs generally results in an accumulation of sphingoid base precursors and a depletion of complex sphingolipids. The asc,asc genotypes of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and Nicotiana umbratica are sensitive to SAMs and host of the AAL toxin-producing fungus Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici. Codominant insensitivity to SAMs in tomato is mediated by the Asc-1 gene, and sensitivity is associated with a frame-shift mutation present in asc-1. We investigated the function of Asc-1 in mediating insensitivity to SAMs and resistance to the fungus by overexpression of asc-1 and Asc-1. In this study, it is shown that overexpression of these genes did not lead to visual symptoms in tomato hairy roots and N. umbratica plants. Overexpression of asc-1 did not influence the (in)sensitivity to SAMs. Overexpression of Asc-1 in SAM-sensitive hairy roots and N. umbratica plants, however, mediated a high insensitivity to SAMs and resistance to plant infection by Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici.

Additional keywords: apoptosis , ceramide , Fusarium moniliforme , LAG1 , stem canker.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society