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Transcript Profiles in Sugar Beet Genotypes Uncover Timing and Strength of Defense Reactions to Cercospora beticola Infection

July 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  7
Pages  758 - 772

Fridtjof Weltmeier,1 Anja Mäser,1 Andreas Menze,2 Steffen Hennig,3 Martina Schad,3 Frank Breuer,2 Britta Schulz,2 Bernd Holtschulte,2 Reinhard Nehls,1 and Dietmar J. Stahl1

1PLANTA Angewandte Pflanzengenetik und Biotechnologie GmbH, Grimsehlstraße 31, D-37555 Einbeck, Germany; 2KWS SAAT AG, Grimsehlstraße 31, D-37555 Einbeck, Germany; 3ImaGenes GmbH, Robert-Roessle-Straße 10, D-13125 Berlin, Germany

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Accepted 26 February 2011.

Cercospora leaf spot disease, caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola, is the most destructive foliar disease of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) worldwide. Despite the great agronomical importance of this disease, little is known about its underlying molecular processes. Technical resources are scarce for analyzing this important crop species. We developed a sugar beet microarray with 44,000 oligonucleotides that represent 17,277 cDNAs. During the four stages of C. beticolaB. vulgaris interactions, we profiled the transcriptional responses of three genotypes: susceptible, polygenic partial resistance, and monogenic resistant. Similar genes were induced in all three genotypes during infection but with striking differences in timing. The monogenic resistant genotype displayed strong defense responses at 1 day postinoculation (dpi). The other genotypes displayed defense responses in a later phase (15 dpi) of the infection cycle. The partially resistant genotype displayed a strong defense response in the late phase of the infection cycle. Furthermore, the partially resistant genotype expressed pathogen-related transcripts that the susceptible genotype lacked. These results indicate that resistance was achieved by the ability to mount an early defense response, and partial resistance was determined by additional defense and signaling transcripts that allowed effective defense in the late phase of the infection cycle.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society