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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2020

Authors: Trujillo-Moya, C; Ganthaler, A; Stöggl, W; Kranner, I; Schüler, S; Ertl, R; Schlosser, S; George, JP; Mayr, S

Title: RNA-Seq and secondary metabolite analyses reveal a putative defence-transcriptome in Norway spruce (Picea abies) against needle bladder rust (Chrysomyxa rhododendri) infection.

Source: BMC Genomics. 2020; 21(1):336

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Ertl Reinhard
Schlosser Sarah

Vetmed Research Units

Norway spruce trees in subalpine forests frequently face infections by the needle rust fungus Chrysomyxa rhododendri, which causes significant growth decline and increased mortality of young trees. Yet, it is unknown whether trees actively respond to fungal attack by activating molecular defence responses and/or respective gene expression.Here, we report results from an infection experiment, in which the transcriptomes (via RNA-Seq analysis) and phenolic profiles (via UHPLC-MS) of control and infected trees were compared over a period of 39 days. Gene expression between infected and uninfected ramets significantly differed after 21 days of infection and revealed already known, but also novel candidate genes involved in spruce molecular defence against pathogens.Combined RNA-Seq and biochemical data suggest that Norway spruce response to infection by C. rhododendri is restricted locally and primarily activated between 9 and 21 days after infestation, involving a potential isolation of the fungus by a hypersensitive response (HR) associated with an activation of phenolic pathways. Identified key regulatory genes represent a solid basis for further specific analyses in spruce varieties with varying susceptibility, to better characterise resistant clones and to elucidate the resistance mechanism.

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