Analysis of a suppressive subtractive hybridization library of Alternaria alternata resistant to 2-propenyl isothiocyanate
de la Cruz Otero,María del Carmen
Background Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are natural products obtained from plants of the Brassicas family. They represent an environmentally friendly alternative for the control of phytopathogenic fungi. However, as it has been observed with synthetic fungicides, the possibility of inducing ITC-resistant strains is a major concern. It is, therefore, essential to understanding the molecular mechanisms of fungal resistance to ITCs. We analyzed a subtractive library containing 180 clones of an Alternaria alternata strain resistant to 2-propenyl ITC (2-pITC). After their sequencing, 141 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were identified using the BlastX algorithm. The sequence assembly was carried out using CAP3 software; the functional annotation and metabolic pathways identification were performed using the Blast2GO program. Results The bioinformatics analysis revealed 124 reads with similarities to proteins involved in transcriptional control, defense and stress pathways, cell wall integrity maintenance, detoxification, organization and cytoskeleton destabilization; exocytosis, transport, DNA damage control, ribosome maintenance, and RNA processing. In addition, transcripts corresponding to enzymes as oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, and ligases, were detected. Degradation pathways for styrene, aminobenzoate, and toluene were induced, as well as the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid and several types of N-glycan. Conclusions The fungal response showed that natural compounds could induce tolerance/resistance mechanisms in organisms in the same manner as synthetic chemical products. The response of A. alternata to the toxicity of 2-pITC is a sophisticated phenomenon including the induction of signaling cascades targeting a broad set of cellular processes. Whole-transcriptome approaches are needed to elucidate completely the fungal response to 2-pITC.