Transcriptional profile of AvrRpt2EA-mediated resistance and susceptibility response to Erwinia amylovora in apple
Most of the commercial apple cultivars are highly susceptible to fire blight, which is the most devastating bacterial disease affecting pome fruits. Resistance to fire blight is described especially in wild Malus accessions such as M. × robusta 5 (Mr5), but the molecular basis of host resistance response to the pathogen Erwinia amylovora is still largely unknown. The bacterial effector protein AvrRpt2EA was found to be the key determinant of resistance response in Mr5. A wild type E. amylovora strain and the corresponding avrRpt2EA deletion mutant were used for inoculation of Mr5 to induce resistance or susceptible response, respectively. By comparison of the transcriptome of both responses, 211 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. We found that heat-shock response including heat-shock proteins (HSPs) and heat-shock transcription factors (HSFs) are activated in apple specifically in the susceptible response, independent of AvrRpt2EA. Further analysis on the expression progress of 81 DEGs by high-throughput real-time qPCR resulted in the identification of genes that were activated after inoculation with E. amylovora. Hence, a potential role of these genes in the resistance to the pathogen is postulated, including genes coding for enzymes involved in formation of flavonoids and terpenoids, ribosome-inactivating enzymes (RIPs) and a squamosa promoter binding-like (SPL) transcription factor.