Increased expression of Phytophthora sojae genes encoding membrane-degrading enzymes appears to suggest an early onset of necrotrophy during Glycine max infection.Fungal Genet Biol. 2019 12; 133:103268.FG
Phytophthora sojae is an oomycete pathogen that causes root, stem, and leaf rot in soybean plants, frequently leading to massive economic losses. Despite its importance, the mechanism by which P. sojae penetrates the host is not yet fully understood. Evidence indicates that P. sojae is not capable of penetrating the plant cell wall via mechanical force, suggesting that alternative factors facilitate breakdown of the host cell wall and membrane. Members of the carbohydrate esterase (CE) family 10 (carboxylesterases, arylesterases, sterol esterases and acetylcholine esterases, collectively known as CE10), are thought to be important for this penetration process. To gain insight into the potential role of CE10-coding genes in P. sojae pathogenesis, the newly revised version of the P. sojae genome was searched for putative CE10-coding genes, and various bioinformatic analyses were conducted using their amino acid and nucleotide sequences. In addition, in planta infection assays were conducted with P. sojae Race 4 and soybean cultivars Williams and Williams 82, and the transcriptional activity of P. sojae CE10-coding genes was evaluated at different time points during infection. Results suggest that these genes are important for both the biotrophic and necrotrophic stages of the P. sojae infection process and provide molecular evidence for stage distinction during infection progression. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses have identified several conserved gene and protein sequence features that appear to have a significant impact on observed levels of expression during infection. Results agree with previous reports implicating other carbohydrate-active enzymes in P. sojae infection.