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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306091

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Blueberry and Cranberry: Utilization of Genomic Resources and Phenotypic/Genotypic Characterization

Location: Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory

Title: Transcriptome analysis of the blueberry-mummy berry pathosystem

item Polashock, James
item SMOLINSKI, TOMASZ - Delaware State University
item SHIM, KENNETH - Delaware State University

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2014
Publication Date: 3/9/2015
Citation: Polashock, J.J., Smolinski, T., Shim, K. 2015. Transcriptome analysis of the blueberry-mummy berry pathosystem. Proceedings of the North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference. DOI: 10.7282/T328098S.

Interpretive Summary: Mummy berry disease of blueberry affects both the developing foliage and the flowers. Flower infection leads to ‘mummified’ fruit and thereby reduces yield. We set up an experiment, using a resistant variety of blueberry and a susceptible variety of blueberry, to determine how the plants respong to infection. To better understand why some plants are resistant and some plants are susceptible, we are evaluating which genes are turned on or off in response to infection. The goal of the research project is to develop better methods of controlling the disease.

Technical Abstract: Mummy berry disease of blueberry, casual agent Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi, has two distinct phases- a blight stage of young foliage and flowers and a flower infection stage that leads to mummified fruit (pseudoscelrotia). The flower infections stage requires conidia to germinate on the style and grow down the stylar canal and into the ovary. The cultivar Berkeley is very susceptible to the mummy berry fruit infection stage while the cultivar Bluejay is resistant. We reasoned that the resistance/susceptibility reaction might be ‘expressed’ in the style. Open flowers of both cultivars were pollinated with ‘Bluecrop’ pollen and inoculated with mummy berry conidia. Total RNA was isolated from the styles two days post pollination/inoculation. RNASeq libraries were prepared and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeqII platform. The resulting sequences were then quality- and adapter-trimmed with open-source software ‘cutadapt.’ Sequences were assembled using Velvet. This produced 37,354 contigs for ‘Bluejay and 36,202 for ‘Berkeley’ of the length of at least 200 nucleotides. The sequences were then BLASTed against the NCBI’s nucleotide database (blastn), which yielded 33,184,648 and 21,143,803 ‘hits’ for the two varieties, respectively. The hits were then mapped to their respective taxonomies. The data generated will help determine the key genes involved in the plant-pathogen interaction.