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Phytophthora sojae is a destructive pathogen of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] causing stem and root rot to soybean plants worldwide. However, the pathogenesis and molecular mechanism of plant defense responses against P. sojae are largely unclear. Herein, we document the underlying mechanisms and function of a novel BTB/POZ protein in soybean, GmBTB/POZ, which contains a BTB/POZ domain found in certain animal transcriptional regulators, in host soybean plants in response to P. sojae. It is located in the cell nucleus and transcriptionally up-regulated by P. sojae. Overexpression of GmBTB/POZ in soybean resulted in enhanced resistance to P. sojae. The activities and expression levels of enzymatic SOD and POD antioxidants were significantly higher in GmBTB/POZ-OE transgenic soybean plants than in wild-type (WT) plants treated with sterile water or infected with P. sojae. The transcript levels of defense-associated genes were also higher in the overexpressed plants than in WT upon infection. Moreover, salicylic acid (SA) levels and the transcript levels of SA biosynthesis-related genes were markedly higher in GmBTB/POZ-OE transgenic soybean than in WT, but there were almost no differences in jasmonic acid (JA) levels or JA biosynthesis-related gene expression among GmBTB/POZ-OE and WT soybean lines. Furthermore, exogenous SA application induced the expression of GmBTB/POZ and inhibited the increase in P. sojae biomass in both WT and GmBTB/POZ-OE transgenic soybean plants. Taken together, these results suggest that GmBTB/POZ plays a positive role in P. sojae resistance and the defense response in soybean via a process that might be dependent on SA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Molecular plant pathology
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