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The pivotal ripening gene SlDML2 participates in regulating disease resistance in tomato
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Zhou LL, Gao GT, Li XJ, Wang WH, Tian SP, Qin GZ*
PubYear : 2023
Volume :   Issue : 
Publication Name : Plant Biotechnology Journal
Page number : DOI:10.1111/pbi.14130
Abstract : 

Fruit ripening and disease resistance are two essential biological processes for quality formation and maintenance. DNA methylation, in the form of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), has been elucidated to modulate fruit ripening, but its role in regulating fruit disease resistance remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that mutation of SlDML2, the DNA demethylase gene essential for fruit ripening, affects multiple developmental processes of tomato besides fruit ripening, including seed germination, leaf length and width and flower branching. Intriguingly, loss of SlDML2 function decreased the resistance of tomato fruits against the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed an obvious transcriptome reprogramming caused by SlDML2 mutation during B. cinerea invasion. Among the thousands of differentially expressed genes, SlβCA3 encoding a β-carbonic anhydrase and SlFAD3 encoding a ω-3 fatty acid desaturase were demonstrated to be transcriptionally activated by SlDML2-mediated DNA demethylation and positively regulate tomato resistance to B.cinerea probably in the same genetic pathway with SlDML2. We further show that the pericarp tissue surrounding B.cinerea infection exhibited a delay in ripening with singnificant decrease in expression of ripening genes that are targeted by SlDML2 and increase in expression of SlβCA3 and SlFAD3. Taken together, our results uncover an essential layer of gene regulation mediated by DNA methylation upon B.cinerea infection and raise the possible that the DNA demethylase gene SlDML2, as a multifunctional gene, participates in modulating the trade-off between fruit ripening and disease resistance.

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