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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #381289

Research Project: Biology, Etiology and Host Resistance in Vegetable Crops to Diseases and Nematodes

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Transcriptomic profile of watermelon affected by zinc in presence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum and Meloidogyne incognita

item KARKI, KASMITA - University Of Georgia
item COOLING, TIM - University Of Georgia
item Kousik, Chandrasekar - Shaker
item MYERS, BRENDON - University Of Georgia
item HAJIHASSANI, ABOLFAZI - University Of Georgia
item MANDAL, MIHIR - Claflin University
item DUTTA, BHABESH - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Pathogens
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2021
Publication Date: 6/23/2021
Citation: Karki, K., Cooling, T., Kousik, C.S., Myers, B., Hajihassani, A., Mandal, M., Dutta, B. 2021. Transcriptomic profile of watermelon affected by zinc in presence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum and Meloidogyne incognita. Pathogens.

Interpretive Summary: Watermelon is an important crop grown in forty-four states in the USA. Many different pests and diseases attack watermelon plants causing extensive damage. In addition micro-nutrients also affect development of watermelon crop and its ability to ward of pest attack. In the present study researchers looked at the effect of Zinc on the transcriptomic profile of watermelon plants when they were infected with soil-borne plant pathogen (Fusarium) and nematode. The research suggested that variability in zinc concentrations can affect the plants ability to defend itself against pathogen and pest attack. The results of the study will be useful to University, Federal researchers and Extension agents.

Technical Abstract: Zinc (Zn) accumulation and deficiency affect plant response to pests and diseases differently in varying pathosystems. The concentrations of Zn in plants aid in priming defense signaling pathways and help in enhanced structural defenses against plant pathogens. Studies are lacking on how concentrations of Zn in watermelon plant influence defense against two important soil-borne pathogens: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (FON) and southern root-knot nematode (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita). In this study we present a comparative transcriptomics evaluation of watermelon plants in response to different levels of Zn (High: 1.2ppm; and low: 0.2ppm). In addition, we evaluated as to how transcript level-responses will differ in watermelon plants when infected with either FON or RKN or both under high- and low-Zn treatment regimes in a controlled hydroponics system. Higher numbers of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were observed in high-Zn-treated than in low-Zn-treated non-inoculated plants (high-Zn: low-Zn :: 333:14), in plants inoculated with FON alone (high-Zn: low-Zn :: 524:104), and in plants inoculated with RKN alone (high-Zn: low-Zn :: 2908:2). However, in the co-inoculated system, low-Zn treatment had 268 DEGs and high-Zn treatment only had one DEG. In addition, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis revealed that most DEGs could be significantly enriched in hormone signal transduction and MAPK signaling pathway suggesting an induction of systemic resistance with high-Zn concentrations. Taken together, this study substantially expands transcriptome data resources and suggests a molecular potential framework for watermelon-Zn interaction in the presence of FON and RKN.