KSEF RDE: Identifying Factors that Regulate Broad-Spectrum Resistance to Phytophthora

  • Kachroo, Aardra (PI)
  • Seebold, Kenneth (Former PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Soybean, the second largest crop in the United States, is an important source of protein and oil for both humans and animals. Microbial diseases result in significant losses to this crop annually, of which Phytophthora rot is the most significant. Genetic resistance is the primary source of protection against this disease. However, this approach is severely limited by the propensity of Phytophthora sojae to rapidly generate highly variable races. Soybean genetic loci imparting resistance to specific races of P. sojae have been identified, various combinations of which can impart resistance to multiple races. However, no known cultivar is resistant to all races of the pathogen. This underscores the need to explore other avenues for developing broad-spectrum resistance against Phytophthora. We have identified several factors that contribute to basal defense against P. sojae in soybean. For example, defects in glycerol-3-phosphate biosynthesis enhance soybean susceptibility, whereas defects in jasmonate biosynthesis enhance resistance (likely due to the accumulation of oxylipin intermediates) to P. sojae. Similarly, plants lacking specific pathogen-effector binding proteins exhibit altered responses to P. sojae. Besides genetic changes, exogenous chemical (such as glycerol or salicylic acid) applications also enhance resistance to P. sojae. This proposal aims to compare the transcriptional changes (in plant- and pathogen-derived genes) amongst the various treatments that alter the outcomes of pathogenicity, using RNASeq analyses. This will be followed by a comparison of those changes to determine possible commonalities amongst all treatments that induce resistance versus those that induce susceptibility. Factors that are specifically altered in all resistant or all susceptible responses will then be analyzed for their functions in mediating resistance against a wide variety of Phytophthora races. For functional analyses target sequences will be by silenced and/or overexpressed in soybean and the effects on responses to P. sojae will be analyzed.
Effective start/end date7/1/1312/31/14


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