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The Gossypium hirsutum TIR‐NBS‐LRR gene GhDSC1 mediates resistance against Verticillium wilt

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Improving genetic resistance is a preferred method to manage Verticillium wilt of cotton and other hosts. Identifying host resistance is difficult because of the dearth of resistance genes against this pathogen. Previously, a novel candidate gene involved in Verticillium wilt resistance was identified by a genome-wide association study using a panel of Gossypium hirsutum accessions. In this study, we cloned the candidate resistance gene from cotton that encodes a protein sharing homology with the TIR-NBS-LRR receptor-like defence protein DSC1 in Arabidopsis thaliana (hereafter named GhDSC1). GhDSC1 expressed at higher levels in response to Verticillium wilt and jasmonic acid (JA) treatment in resistant cotton cultivars as compared to susceptible cultivars and its product was localized to nucleus. The transfer of GhDSC1 to Arabidopsis conferred Verticillium resistance in an A. thaliana dsc1 mutant. This resistance response was associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and increased expression of JA-signalling-related genes. Furthermore, the expression of GhDSC1 in response to Verticillium wilt and JA signalling in A. thaliana displayed expression patterns similar to GhCAMTA3 in cotton under identical conditions, suggesting a coordinated DSC1 and CAMTA3 response in A. thaliana to Verticillium wilt. Analyses of GhDSC1 sequence polymorphism revealed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) difference between resistant and susceptible cotton accessions, within the P-loop motif encoded by GhDSC1. This SNP difference causes ineffective activation of defence response in susceptible cultivars. These results demonstrated that GhDSC1 confers Verticillium resistance in the model plant system of A. thaliana, and therefore represents a suitable candidate for the genetic engineering of Verticillium wilt resistance in cotton.

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