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Tomato transcriptome and mutant analyses suggest a role for plant stress hormones in the interaction between fruit and Botrytis cinerea.


Fruit-pathogen interactions are a valuable biological system to study the role of plant development in the transition from resistance to susceptibility. In general, unripe fruit are resistant to pathogen infection but become increasingly more susceptible as they ripen. During ripening, fruit undergo significant physiological and biochemical changes that are coordinated by complex regulatory and hormonal signaling networks. The interplay between multiple plant stress hormones in the interaction between plant vegetative tissues and microbial pathogens has been documented extensively, but the relevance of these hormones during infections of fruit is unclear. In this work, we analyzed a transcriptome study of tomato fruit infected with Botrytis cinerea in order to profile the expression of genes for the biosynthesis, modification and signal transduction of ethylene (ET), salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and abscisic acid (ABA), hormones that may be not only involved in ripening, but also in fruit interactions with pathogens. The changes in relative expression of key genes during infection and assays of susceptibility of fruit with impaired synthesis or perception of these hormones were used to formulate hypotheses regarding the involvement of these regulators in the outcome of the tomato fruit-B. cinerea interaction.

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