Transcriptome profiling of lentil (Lens culinaris) through the first 24 hours of Ascochyta lentis infection reveals key defence response genes

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Mahsa Khorramdelazad
Bar, I
Paul Whatmore
Gabrielle Smetham
Bhaaskaria, V
Yang, Y
Bai, SH
Mantri, N
Zhou, Y
Ford, R
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Background: Ascochyta blight, caused by the fungus Ascochyta lentis, is one of the most destructive lentil diseases worldwide, resulting in over $16 million AUD annual loss in Australia alone. The use of resistant cultivars is currently considered the most effective and environmentally sustainable strategy to control this disease. However, little is known about the genes and molecular mechanisms underlying lentil resistance against A. lentis.

Results: To uncover the genetic basis of lentil resistance to A. lentis, differentially expressed genes were profiled in lentil plants during the early stages of A. lentis infection. The resistant ‘ILL7537’ and susceptible ‘ILL6002’ lentil genotypes were examined at 2, 6, and 24 h post inoculation utilising high throughput RNA-Sequencing. Genotype and time-dependent differential expression analysis identified genes which play key roles in several functions of the defence response: fungal elicitors recognition and early signalling; structural response; biochemical response; transcription regulators; hypersensitive reaction and cell death; and systemic acquired resistance. Overall, the resistant genotype displayed an earlier and faster detection and signalling response to the A. lentis infection and demonstrated higher expression levels of structural defence-related genes.

Conclusions: This study presents a first-time defence-related transcriptome of lentil to A. lentis, including a comprehensive characterisation of the molecular mechanism through which defence against A. lentis is induced in the resistant lentil genotype.

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BMC Genomics
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© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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