A suppressive subtractive hybridization technique was used to identify genes, which were induced during the early phases of the interaction between dodder (Cuscuta reflexa), a phanerogamic parasite, and its incompatible host plant tomato. One of the identified genes encodes a tomato xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH) - an enzyme involved in cell wall elongation and restructuring. The corresponding LeXTH1 mRNA accumulated 6 h after attachment of the parasite. In contrast, wounding did not influence the expression level. Subsequent to LeXTH1 mRNA accumulation, an increase in XTH activity at the infection sites as well as in adjacent tissues was observed. The effect of IAA on LeXTH1 expression was analyzed because the concentration of this phytohormone is known to increase in the tomato tissue during the interaction with the parasite. LeXTH1 mRNA accumulation was it! fact induced by external application of auxin. However, in the auxin-insensitive tomato mutant diageotropica, Cuscuta induced LeXTH1-mRNA accumulated with a time course similar to wild type tomato. Thus, auxin appears not to be an essential signal for infection-induced LeXTH1 activation. Our data suggest a role for xyloglucan transglycosylation in defence reactions associated with the incompatible tomato-Cuscuta interaction.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2004|