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Transcriptome Analysis of Maize in Response to Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum and Clavibacter nebraskensis

Thais Egreja, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Maize (Zea mays) is one of the most widespread crops in terms of global area. Although advances in conventional plant breeding and biotechnology have significantly helped to develop improved maize cultivars, crops are continuously attacked by pathogens that can reduce productivity and grain quality during the entire plant life cycle. Over the years, transcriptomic technologies have progressed from candidate gene-based detection of RNAs using Northern blotting to high-throughput sequencing of RNA pools and recent advances have even enabled RNA sequencing in single cells. Past, current, and novel transcriptomics technologies have been broadly applied in maize and some of these studies have focused on the identification of disease resistance genes in many maizepathogen interactions, with a particular interest in the development of hybrids with durable and sustainable disease resistance. Although RNA-Seq has been extensively used to investigate many maize-pathogen interactions, transcriptomics analysis of maize responses to bacterial diseases has lagged behind diseases caused by fungi. This dissertation was driven towards a more comprehensive understanding of how resistant and susceptible maize inbred lines respond to infection by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum (Xvv), the causal agent of bacterial leaf streak, and Clavibacter nebraskensis (Cn), the causal agent of Goss’s bacterial wilt and leaf blight. Our study provides novel and valuable information regarding the up- and down-regulation of defense-related genes during maize-Xvv and maize-Cn interaction. Gene ontology and enrichment analysis defined functional annotations of DEGs specific to resistant and susceptible maize genotypes and revealed that several biological processes may be involved in the resistance mechanisms to both diseases. To the best of our knowledge these data provide novel and valuable information which can enable targeted breeding strategies for development of superior maize cultivars able to resist both bacterial diseases and achieve their full yield potential.

Subject Area

Agronomy|Plant Pathology

Recommended Citation

Egreja, Thais, "Transcriptome Analysis of Maize in Response to Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum and Clavibacter nebraskensis" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI27956221.