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Patterns of Gene Expression Upon Infection of Soybean Plants by Phytophthora sojae

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    Authors and Affiliations
    • Pat Moy 1
    • Dinah Qutob 1
    • B. Patrick Chapman 1
    • Ian Atkinson 2
    • Mark Gijzen 1

      To investigate patterns of gene expression in soybean (Glycine max) and Phytophthora sojae during an infection time course, we constructed a 4,896-gene microarray of host and pathogen cDNA transcripts. Analysis of rRNA from soybean and P. sojae was used to estimate the ratio of host and pathogen RNA present in mixed samples. Large changes in this ratio occurred between 12 and 24 h after infection, reflecting the rapid growth and proliferation of the pathogen within host tissues. From the microarray analysis, soybean genes that were identified as strongly upregulated during infection included those encoding enzymes of phytoalexin biosynthesis and defense and pathogenesis-related proteins. Expression of these genes generally peaked at 24 h after infection. Selected lipoxygenases and peroxidases were among the most strongly downregulated soybean genes during the course of infection. The number of pathogen genes expressed during infection reached a maximum at 24 h. The results show that it is possible to use a single microarray to simultaneously probe gene expression in two interacting organisms. The patterns of gene expression we observed in soybean and P. sojae support the hypothesis that the pathogen transits from biotrophy to necrotrophy between 12 and 24 h after infection.