Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Identified Candidate Genes for Late Leaf Spot Resistance and Cause of Defoliation in Groundnut
Late leaf spot (LLS) caused by fungus Nothopassalora personata in groundnut is responsible for up to 50% yield loss. To dissect the complex nature of LLS resistance, comparative transcriptome analysis was performed using resistant (GPBD 4), susceptible (TAG 24) and a resistant introgression line (ICGV 13208) and identified a total of 12,164 and 9954 DEGs (differentially expressed genes) respectively in A- and B-subgenomes of tetraploid groundnut. There were 135 and 136 unique pathways triggered in A- and B-subgenomes, respectively, upon N. personata infection. Highly upregulated putative disease resistance genes, an RPP-13 like (Aradu.P20JR) and a NBS-LRR (Aradu.Z87JB) were identified on chromosome A02 and A03, respectively, for LLS resistance. Mildew resistance Locus (MLOs)-like proteins, heavy metal transport proteins, and ubiquitin protein ligase showed trend of upregulation in susceptible genotypes, while tetratricopeptide repeats (TPR), pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR), chitinases, glutathione S-transferases, purple acid phosphatases showed upregulation in resistant genotypes. However, the highly expressed ethylene responsive factor (ERF) and ethylene responsive nuclear protein (ERF2), and early responsive dehydration gene (ERD) might be related to the possible causes of defoliation in susceptible genotypes. The identified disease resistance genes can be deployed in genomics-assisted breeding for development of LLS resistant cultivars to reduce the yield loss in groundnut.