Ping Qiu, Jiayue Li, Lin Zhang, Kun Chen, Jianmin Shao, Baoxin Zheng, Hang Yuan, Jie Qi, Lin Yue, Qin Hu, Yuqing Ming, Shiming Liu, Lu Long, Jiangjiang Gu, Xianlong Zhang, Keith Lindsey, Wei Gao, Honghong Wu, Longfu Zhu
Nature Communications, volume14, Article number:7392(2023), Published:15 November 2023
Verticillium dahliaeis a soil-borne hemibiotrophic fungal pathogen that threatens cotton production worldwide. In this study, we assemble the genomes of twoV. dahliaeisolates: the more virulence and defoliating isolate V991 and nondefoliating isolate 1cd3-2. Transcriptome and comparative genomics analyses show that genes associated with pathogen virulence are mostly induced at the late stage of infection (Stage II), accompanied by a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS), with upregulation of more genes involved in defense response in cotton. We identify the V991-specific virulence geneSP3that is highly expressed during the infection Stage II.V. dahliae SP3knock-out strain shows attenuated virulence and triggers less ROS production in cotton plants. To control the disease, we employ polyethyleneimine-coated MXene quantum dots (PEI-MQDs) that possess the ability to remove ROS. Cotton seedlings treated with PEI-MQDs are capable of maintaining ROS homeostasis with enhanced peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities and exhibit improved tolerance toV. dahliae. These results suggest thatV. dahliaetrigger ROS production to promote infection and scavenging ROS is an effective way to manage this disease. This study reveals a virulence mechanism ofV. dahliaeand provides a means forV. dahliaeresistance that benefits cotton production.