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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02683

Differential expression of signaling pathway genes associated with aflatoxin reduction quantitative trait loci in maize (Zea mays L.)

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Mississippi State University, United States
  • 2Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, United States

Abstract
The roles of signaling pathway genes related to the aflatoxin reduction trait in maize were studied for the improvement of maize resistance to the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus). In this study, 55 maize genes in plant-pathogen interaction signaling pathways were investigated among 12 maize near-isogenic lines (NILs) that carry maize quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with aflatoxin reduction. These maize NILs were developed from maize inbred lines Mp313E (resistant donor parent) and Va35 (susceptible recurrent parent). The quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) technique was used to study the gene expression patterns. Seven calcium-dependent protein kinases and one respiratory burst oxidase displayed significant differential expression levels among the maize QTL-NILs. In addition, the gene expression profiles of WRKY transcription factors were also examined. Maize WRKY 52, WRKY 71, and WRKY83 genes displayed significantly differential expression levels among the QTL-NILs. The elucidation of differentially expressed signaling pathway genes involving maize resistance to A. flavus can provide insights into maize disease resistance and enhance maize molecular breeding.

Keywords: signaling pathway genes, Maize, Aspergillus flavus, Aflatoxin reduction, Quantitative Trait Loci

Received: 12 Aug 2019; Accepted: 05 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Parish, Williams, Windham and Shan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Xueyan Shan, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, 39762, United States, xshan@bch.msstate.edu