Ping Qiu, Baoxin Zheng, Hang Yuan, Zhaoguang Yang, Keith Lindsey, Yan Wang, Yuqing Ming, Lin Zhang, Qin Hu, Muhammad Shaban, Jie Kong, Xianlong Zhang, Longfu Zhu
Plant Biotechnology Journal, First published:26 October 2023, https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.14201
Verticillium dahliaeis a widespread and destructive soilborne vascular pathogenic fungus that causes serious diseases in dicot plants. Here, comparative transcriptome analysis showed that the number of genes upregulated in defoliating pathotype V991 was significantly higher than in the non-defoliating pathotype 1cd3-2 during the early response of cotton. Combined with analysis of the secretome during the V991–cotton interaction, an elicitor VP2 was identified, which was highly upregulated at the early stage of V991 invasion, but was barely expressed during the 1cd3-2-cotton interaction. Full-length VP2 could induce cell death in several plant species, and which was dependent onNbBAK1but not onNbSOBIR1inN. benthamiana. Knock-out of VP2 attenuated the pathogenicity of V991. Furthermore, overexpression of VP2 in cotton enhanced resistance toV. dahliaewithout causing abnormal plant growth and development. Several genes involved in JA, SA and lignin synthesis were significantly upregulated in VP2-overexpressing cotton. The contents of JA, SA, and lignin were also significantly higher than in the wild-type control. In summary, the identified elicitor VP2, recognized by the receptor in the plant membrane, triggers the cotton immune response and enhances disease resistance.