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Keywords:

  • lectin receptor kinase;
  • Phytophthora ;
  • disease resistance;
  • potato;
  • Nicotiana benthamiana ;
  • interfamily gene transfer

Summary

Late blight caused by the plant pathogenic oomycete Phytophthora infestans is known as one of the most destructive potato diseases. Plant breeders tend to employ NB-LRR-based resistance for introducing genetically controlled late blight resistance in their breeding lines. However, P. infestans is able to rapidly escape this type of resistance, and hence, NB-LRR-based resistance in potato cultivars is often not durable. Previously, we identified a novel type of Phytophthora resistance in Arabidopsis. This resistance is mediated by the cell surface receptor LecRK-I.9, which belongs to the family of L-type lectin receptor kinases. In this study, we report that expression of the Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 gene in potato and Nicotiana benthamiana results in significantly enhanced late blight resistance. Transcriptional profiling showed strong reduction in salicylic acid (SA)-mediated defence gene expression in LecRK-I.9 transgenic potato lines (TPLs). In contrast, transcripts of two protease inhibitor genes accumulated to extreme high levels, suggesting that LecRK-I.9-mediated late blight resistance is relying on a defence response that includes activation of protease inhibitors. These results demonstrate that the functionality of LecRK-I.9 in Phytophthora resistance is maintained after interfamily transfer to potato and N. benthamiana and suggest that this novel type of LecRK-based resistance can be exploited in breeding strategies to improve durable late blight resistance in Solanaceous crops.