A case study from the interaction of strawberry and Botrytis cinerea highlights the benefits of comonitoring both partners at genomic and mRNA level
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- • Strawberry Fragaria × ananassa (cv. Korona) was inoculated with Botrytis cinerea by dipping berries in a conidial suspension.
- • Colonization by the pathogen was monitored using real-time PCR, ELISA and ergosterol assays, the first showing the highest sensitivity. The expression of pathogen β-tubulin and six polygalacturonases (Bcpg1–6) and three host defence genes (polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (FaPGIP) and two class II chitinases) were monitored using real-time RT–PCR.
- • The maximum transcript levels of the host defence genes occurred at 16 h postinoculation (hpi) at the presumed initial penetration stage. The unique transcript profile of Bcpg2 over the 96-h incubation time and its high transcript levels relative to those of the other Bcpgs at 8–24 hpi suggest that the gene has a specific role in the penetration stage.
- • Bcpg1 was expressed constitutively at a relatively high level in actively growing mycelia throughout the experimental period. Comparison of the transcript profiles indicated that Bcpg1 and Bcpg3–6 were coordinately regulated.