Pathogen recognition in compatible plant-microbe interactions
Microbial infections in plant leaves remain a major challenge in agriculture. Hence an understanding of disease mechanisms at the molecular level is of paramount importance for identifying possible intervention points for their control. Whole-transcriptome changes during early disease stages in susceptible plant species are less well-documented than those of resistant ones. This study focuses on the differential transcriptional changes at 24 hours post inoculation (hpi) in tomato leaflets affected by three pathogens: (1) Phytophthora infestans, (2) Botrytis cinerea, and (3) Oidium neolycopersici. Grey mould (B. cinerea) was the disease that had progressed the most by 24 hpi, both in terms of visible symptoms as well as differential gene expression. By means of RNA-seq, we identified 50 differentially expressed tomato genes induced by B. cinerea infection and 18 by P. infestans infection at 24 hpi. Additionally, a set of 63 genes were differentially expressed during all three diseases when compared by a Bayesian approach to their respective mock infections. And Gene expression patterns were found to also depend on the inoculation technique. These findings suggest a specific and distinct transcriptional response in plant leaf tissue in reaction to B. cinerea and P. infestans invasion at 24 hpi, indicating that plants may recognize the attacking pathogen.