Scientists discover key genes and new mechanisms for resistance in “cotton cancer”

Recently, the team of Li Fuguang, a researcher at the Cotton Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, carried out the identification and mechanism of excellent disease resistance genes in cotton germplasm resources, identified the Asian cotton introduction fragment that can enhance Verticillium wilt resistance in land cotton, and discovered and analyzed the key gene GhRVD1 and its genetic basis for resistance to Verticillium Wilt in land cotton. This study provides an important target for improving cotton disease resistance through biological breeding methods, and provides new ideas for the prevention and control of verticillium wilt in cotton. The results of the research were published online in Genomic Biology (Genome Biology) on.

Verticillium wilt experiment in cotton. Photo courtesy of Zhongmian

Rotifera dahlia is a soil-borne fungal disease with a wide range of hosts, harming major cash crops such as cotton, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers, and causing serious economic losses to agricultural production. Verticillium wilt in cotton, caused by rotifera dahlia, is one of the most important threats to cotton production and is known as the “cancer” of cotton. Excavating Verticillium wilt resistance genes in cotton germplasm resources and analyzing their disease resistance mechanism are of great significance for the genetic improvement of cotton disease resistance and stabilizing cotton production.

In this study, a sloping fragment from Asian cotton was significantly associated with Verticillium wilt resistance in onshore cotton, and found that GhRVD1, which encodes the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich intracellular immune receptor (NLR), is a key gene for anti-Verticillium wilt, and mutations in a few nucleotide sites in onshore cotton weaken its mediated Verticillium wilt resistance.

More importantly, GhRVD1 is the first NLR protein identified in plants with a nitrogen-terminated tandem Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) structure, whose tandem TIR structure mediates a rapid immune response by forming a reverse parallel dimer.

In addition, it was also found that GhTIRP1, the nitrogen-end binding protein of GhRVD1, is an important switch for balanced vegetative growth and immune response in plants, which competitively binds to GhRVD1 under normal growth conditions to inhibit the formation of dimers, thereby blocking its mediated immune response and maintaining the normal growth of cotton. However, under the invasion condition of Rotifera d. d.

Li Fuguang and Yang Zhaoen, a researcher at the China Cotton Institute, are the corresponding authors of the paper, and doctoral student Zhang Yihao and master student Zhang Yaning are the co-first authors of the paper. The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program, Henan Outstanding Youth Fund, the Basic Research Fund of the State Key Laboratory and the Basic Research Fund of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. (Source: Li Chen, China Science News)

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