J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2013, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (7): 586-596.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12064

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cotton GhBAK1 Mediates Verticillium Wilt Resistance and Cell Death

Xiquan Gao1,2‡, Fangjun Li3,4‡, Maoying Li3,4, Ali S. Kianinejad1,5, Jane K. Dever6, Terry A. Wheeler6, Zhaohu Li3, Ping He4 and Libo Shan1*   

  1. 1Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
    2College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China
    3College of Agronomy & Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
    4Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
    5University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, TX, USA 6Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Lubbock, TX, USA
  • Received:2013-03-07 Accepted:2013-04-30 Published:2013-07-01
  • About author:These authors contributed equally to the work.
    *Corresponding author: E-mail: lshan@tamu.edu Tel: +1 979 845 8818; Fax: +1 979 862 4790.

Abstract:

Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) offers a powerful approach for functional analysis of individual genes by knocking down their expression. We have adopted this approach to dissect gene functions in cotton resistant to Verticillium wilt, one of the most devastating diseases worldwide. We showed here that highly efficient VIGS was obtained in a cotton breeding line (CA4002) with partial resistance to Verticillium wilt, and GhMKK2 and GhVe1 are required for its resistance to Verticillium wilt. Arabidopsis AtBAK1/SERK3, a central regulator in plant disease resistance, belongs to a subfamily of somatic embryogenesis receptor kinases (SERKs) with five members, AtSERK1 to AtSERK5. Two BAK1 orthologs and one SERK1 ortholog were identified in the cotton genome. Importantly, GhBAK1 is required for CA4002 resistance to Verticillium wilt. Surprisingly, silencing of GhBAK1 is sufficient to trigger cell death accompanied with production of reactive oxygen species in cotton. This result is distinct from Arabidopsis in which AtBAK1 and AtSERK4 play redundant functions in cell death control. Apparently, cotton has only evolved SERK1 and BAK1 whereas AtSERK4/5 are newly evolved genes in Arabidopsis. Our studies indicate the functional importance of BAK1 in Verticillium wilt resistance and suggest the dynamic evolution of SERK family members in different plant species.

Gao X, Li F, Li M, Kianinejad AS, Dever JK, Wheeler TA, Li Z, He P, Shan L (2013) Cotton GhBAK1 mediates Verticillium wilt resistance and cell death. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(7), 586–596.

Key words: Cell death, Gossypium hirsutum, Verticillium dahliae, virus-induced gene silence

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