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Keywords:

  • antioxidant genes;
  • environmental stress tolerance;
  • postharvest diseases;
  • reactive oxygen species;
  • suppression subtractive hybridization

Abstract

A pretreatment of the yeast, Candida oleophila, with 5 mM H2O2 for 30 min (sublethal) increased yeast tolerance to subsequent lethal levels of oxidative stress (50 mM H2O2), high temperature (40 °C), and low pH (pH 4). Compared with non-stress-adapted yeast cells, stress-adapted cells exhibited better control of apple fruit infections by Penicillium expansum and Botrytis cinerea and had initially higher growth rates in apple wounds. Suppression subtractive hybridization analysis was used to identify genes expressed in yeast in response to sublethal oxidative stress. Transcript levels were confirmed using semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Seven antioxidant genes were upregulated. The elevated expression of these genes was associated with less accumulation of reactive oxygen species and a lower level of protein and lipid oxidation under subsequent stresses. These data support the premise that induction of abiotic stress tolerance in biocontrol yeast can improve biocontrol efficacy by upregulation of genes involved in the amelioration of oxidative stress.