State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Key Laboratory of Biological and Genetic Breeding of Cotton, The Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Cotton Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Anyang, 455000, Henan, China. [Email]
BACKGROUND : Verticillium wilt (VW), also known as "cotton cancer," is one of the most destructive diseases in global cotton production that seriously impacts fiber yield and quality. Despite numerous attempts, little significant progress has been made in improving the VW resistance of upland cotton. The development of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) from Gossypium hirsutum × G. barbadense has emerged as a means of simultaneously developing new cotton varieties with high-yield, superior fiber, and resistance to VW. RESULTS : In this study, VW-resistant investigations were first conducted in an artificial greenhouse, a natural field, and diseased nursery conditions, resulting in the identification of one stably VW-resistant CSSL, MBI8255, and one VW-susceptible G. hirsutum, CCRI36, which were subsequently subjected to biochemical tests and transcriptome sequencing during V991 infection (0, 1, and 2 days after inoculation). Eighteen root samples with three replications were collected to perform multiple comparisons of enzyme activity and biochemical substance contents. The findings indicated that VW resistance was positively correlated with peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activity, but negatively correlated with malondialdehyde content. Additionally, RNA sequencing was used for the same root samples, resulting in a total of 77,412 genes, of which 23,180 differentially expressed genes were identified from multiple comparisons between samples. After Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis on the expression profiles identified using Short Time-series Expression Miner, we found that the metabolic process in the biological process, as well as the pathways of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis and plant hormone signal transduction, participated significantly in the response to VW. Gene functional annotation and expression quantity analysis indicated the important roles of the phenylpropanoid metabolic pathway and oxidation-reduction process in response to VW, which also provided plenty of candidate genes related to plant resistance. CONCLUSIONS : This study concentrates on the preliminary response to V991 infection by comparing the VW-resistant CSSL and its VW-susceptible recurrent parent. Not only do our findings facilitate the culturing of new resistant varieties with high yield and superior performance, but they also broaden our understanding of the mechanisms of cotton resistance to VW.