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Identification of Botrytis cinerea Genes Up-Regulated During Infection and Controlled by the Gα Subunit BCG1 Using Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH)

May 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  5
Pages  537 - 546

Christian Schulze Gronover , 1 Corinna Schorn , 2 and Bettina Tudzynski 1

1Institut für Botanik der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Schlossgarten 3, D-48149 Münster, Germany; 2Bayer CropScience AG, D-40789 Monheim, Germany

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Accepted 10 December 2003.

The Gα subunit BCG1 plays an important role during the infection of host plants by Botrytis cinerea. Δbcg1 Mutants are able to conidiate, penetrate host leaves, and produce small primary lesions. However, in contrast to the wild type, the mutants completely stop invasion of plant tissue at this stage; secondary lesions have never been observed. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify fungal genes whose expression on the host plant is specifically affected in bcg1 mutants. Among the 22 differentially expressed genes, we found those which were predicted to encode proteases, enzymes involved in secondary metabolism, and others encoding cell wall-degrading enzymes. All these genes are highly expressed during infection in the wild type but not in the mutant. However, the genes are expressed in both the wild type and the mutant under certain conditions in vitro. Most of the BCG1-controlled genes are still expressed in adenylate cyclase (bac) mutants in planta, suggesting that BCG1 is involved in at least one additional signaling cascade in addition to the cAMP-depending pathway. In a second SSH approach, 1,500 clones were screened for those that are specifically induced by the wild type during the infection of bean leaves. Of the 22 BCG1-controlled genes, 11 also were found in the in planta SSH library. Therefore, SSH technology can be successfully applied to identify target genes of signaling pathways and differentially expressed genes in planta.

Additional keyword: pathogenicity.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society