Biotech Updates

SlMKK Genes from Tomato Contribute to Plant Resistance to Gray Mold

June 18, 2014

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) play key roles in plant immunity against pathogens. However, it is still unclear if SlMKKs genes, which are MAPKs from tomato, also have an effect on a plant's resistance against the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea commonly known as gray mold.

Five SlMKK genes were identified in tomato and analyzed. It revealed that the expression of two of the five SlMKK genes, SlMKK2 and SlMKK4, was induced by gray mold. This showed that SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 were the only ones involved with the resistance to gray mold. Silencing either of the two resulted in reduced resistance to gray mold in tomato plants.

Silencing of SlMKK2 and SlMKK4 expression in tomato demonstrate that both of these genes function as positive regulators of defense response against gray mold.

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