Journal Article

Peach [<i>Prunus persica</i> (L.) Batsch] <i>KNOPE1</i>, a class 1 <i>KNOX</i> orthologue to <i>Arabidopsis BREVIPEDICELLUS/KNAT1</i>, is misexpressed during hyperplasia of leaf curl disease

Giulio Testone, Leonardo Bruno, Emiliano Condello, Adriana Chiappetta, Alessandro Bruno, Giovanni Mele, Andrea Tartarini, Laura Spanò, Anna Maria Innocenti, Domenico Mariotti, Maria Beatrice Bitonti and Donato Giannino

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 2, pages 389-402
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Class 1 KNOTTED-like (KNOX) transcription factors control cell meristematic identity. An investigation was carried out to determine whether they maintain this function in peach plants and might act in leaf curliness caused by the ascomycete Taphrina deformans. KNOPE1 function was assessed by overexpression in Arabidopsis and by yeast two-hybrid assays with Arabidopsis BELL proteins. Subsequently, KNOPE1 mRNA and zeatin localization was monitored during leaf curl disease. KNOPE1 and Arabidopsis BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP) proteins fell into the same phyletic group and recognized the same BELL factors. 35S:KNOPE1 Arabidopsis lines exhibited altered traits resembling those of BP-overexpressing lines. In peach shoot apical meristem, KNOPE1 was expressed in the peripheral and central zones but not in leaf primordia, identically to the BP expression pattern. These results strongly suggest that KNOPE1 must be down-regulated for leaf initiation and that it can control cell meristem identity equally as well as all class 1 KNOX genes. Leaves attacked by T. deformans share histological alterations with class 1 KNOX-overexpressing leaves, including cell proliferation and loss of cell differentiation. Both KNOPE1 and a cytokinin synthesis ISOPENTENYLTRANSFERASE gene were found to be up-regulated in infected curled leaves. At early disease stages, KNOPE1 was uniquely triggered in the palisade cells interacting with subepidermal mycelium, while zeatin vascular localization was unaltered compared with healthy leaves. Subsequently, when mycelium colonization and asci development occurred, both KNOPE1 and zeatin signals were scattered in sectors of cell disorders. These results suggest that KNOPE1 misexpression and de novo zeatin synthesis of host origin might participate in hyperplasia of leaf curl disease.

Keywords: KNOPE1; peach; role in cell undetermined fate; response in leaf curl disease; Taphrina deformans; transcription factor; zeatin

Journal Article.  7230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry