Date of this Version
Orshinsky AM, Hu J, Opiyo SO, Reddyvari-Channarayappa V, Mitchell TK, et al. (2012) RNA-Seq Analysis of the Sclerotinia homoeocarpa – Creeping Bentgrass Pathosystem. PLoS ONE 7(8): e41150
Sclerotinia homoeocarpa causes dollar spot disease, the predominate disease on highly-maintained turfgrass. Currently, there are major gaps in our understanding of the molecular interactions between S. homoeocarpa and creeping bentgrass. In this study, 454 sequencing technology was used in the de novo assembly of S. homoeocarpa and creeping bentgrass transcriptomes. Transcript sequence data obtained using Illumina’s first generation sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS) were mapped to the transcriptome assemblies to estimate transcript representation in different SBS libraries. SBS libraries included a S. homoeocarpa culture control, a creeping bentgrass uninoculated control, and a library for creeping bentgrass inoculated with S. homoeocarpa and incubated for 96 h. A Fisher’s exact test was performed to determine transcripts that were significantly different during creeping bentgrass infection with S. homoeocarpa. Fungal transcripts of interest included glycosyl hydrolases, proteases, and ABC transporters. Of particular interest were the large number of glycosyl hydrolase transcripts that target a wide range of plant cell wall compounds, corroborating the suggested wide host range and saprophytic abilities of S. homoeocarpa. Several of the multidrug resistance ABC transporters may be important for resistance to both fungicides and plant defense compounds. Creeping bentgrass transcripts of interest included germins, ubiquitin transcripts involved in proteasome degradation, and cinnamoyl reductase, which is involved in lignin production. This analysis provides an extensive overview of the S. homoeocarpa-turfgrass pathosystem and provides a starting point for the characterization of potential virulence factors and host defense responses. In particular, determination of important host defense responses may assist in the development of highly resistant creeping bentgrass varieties.