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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 5, 2023
  2. Abstract The broad host range of Fusarium virguliforme represents a unique comparative system to identify and define differentially induced responses between an asymptomatic monocot host, maize (Zea mays), and a symptomatic eudicot host, soybean (Glycine max). Using a temporal, comparative transcriptome-based approach, we observed that early gene expression profiles of root tissue from infected maize suggest that pathogen tolerance coincides with the rapid induction of senescence dampening transcriptional regulators, including ANACs (Arabidopsis thaliana NAM/ATAF/CUC protein) and Ethylene-Responsive Factors. In contrast, the expression of senescence-associated processes in soybean was coincident with the appearance of disease symptom development, suggesting pathogen-induced senescence as a key pathway driving pathogen susceptibility in soybean. Based on the analyses described herein, we posit that root senescence is a primary contributing factor underlying colonization and disease progression in symptomatic versus asymptomatic host–fungal interactions. This process also supports the lifestyle and virulence of F. virguliforme during biotrophy to necrotrophy transitions. Further support for this hypothesis lies in comprehensive co-expression and comparative transcriptome analyses, and in total, supports the emerging concept of necrotrophy-activated senescence. We propose that F. virguliforme conditions an environment within symptomatic hosts, which favors susceptibility through transcriptomic reprogramming, and as described herein, the induction of pathways associatedmore »with senescence during the necrotrophic stage of fungal development.« less
  3. The master regulator of salicylic acid (SA)-mediated plant defense, NPR1 (NONEXPRESSER OF PR GENES 1) and its paralogs NPR3 and NPR4, act as SA receptors. After the perception of a pathogen, plant cells produce SA in the chloroplast. In the presence of SA, NPR1 protein is reduced from oligomers to monomers, and translocated into the nucleus. There, NPR1 binds to TGA, TCP, and WRKY transcription factors to induce expression of plant defense genes. A list of compounds structurally similar to SA was generated using ChemMine Tools and its Clustering Toolbox. Several of these analogs can induce SA-mediated defense and inhibit growth of Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis. These analogs, when sprayed on Arabidopsis, can induce the accumulation of the master regulator of plant defense NPR1. In a yeast two-hybrid system, these analogs can strengthen the interactions among NPR proteins. We demonstrated that these analogs can induce the expression of the defense marker gene PR1. Furthermore, we hypothesized that these SA analogs could be potent tools against the citrus greening pathogen Candidatus liberibacter spp. In fact, our results suggest that the SA analogs we tested using Arabidopsis may also be effective for inducing a defense response in citrus. Several SA analogs consistentlymore »strengthened the interactions between citrus NPR1 and NPR3 proteins in a yeast two-hybrid system. In future assays, we plan to test whether these analogs avoid degradation by SA hydroxylases from plant pathogens. In future assays, we plan to test whether these analogs avoid degradation by SA hydroxylases from plant pathogens.« less