Research & Studies

Transcriptome Meta-Analysis Identifies Candidate Hub Genes and Pathways of Pathogen Stress Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

The article was written with the contribution of Péter Poczai, iASK researcher and was released in Biology in 2022.


Following a pathogen attack, plants defend themselves using multiple defense mechanisms to prevent infections. We used a meta-analysis and systems-biology analysis to search for general
molecular plant defense responses from transcriptomic data reported from different pathogen attacks in Arabidopsis thaliana. Data from seven studies were subjected to meta-analysis, which revealed a total of 3694 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), where both healthy and infected plants were considered. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis further suggested that the DEGs were involved in several biosynthetic metabolic pathways, including those responsible for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and pathways central to photosynthesis and plant–pathogen interactions. Using network analysis, we highlight the importance of WRKY40, WRKY46 and STZ, and suggest that they serve as major points in protein–protein interactions. This is especially true regarding networks of composite-metabolic responses by pathogens. In summary, this research provides a new approach that illuminates how different mechanisms of transcriptome responses can be activated in plants under pathogen infection and indicates that common genes vary in their ability to regulate plant responses to the pathogens studied herein.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, biotic stress, plant-pathogen interaction, transcriptome data

The article is available HERE, with full text.