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Article|24 May 2017|OPEN
Transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses of cucumber fruit peels reveal a developmental increase in terpenoid glycosides associated with age-related resistance to Phytophthora capsici
Ben N Mansfeld1 , Marivi Colle1 , Yunyan Kang1,2 and A Daniel Jones3,4 , Rebecca Grumet,1 ,
1Graduate Program in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2College of Horticulture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
4Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 4,
Article number: 22 (2017)
Views: 654

Received: 01 Feb 2017
Revised: 25 Apr 2017
Accepted: 25 Apr 2017
Published online: 24 May 2017


The oomycete, Phytophthora capsici, infects cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit. An age-related resistance (ARR) to this pathogen was previously observed in fruit of cultivar ‘Vlaspik’ and shown to be associated with the peel. Young fruits are highly susceptible, but develop resistance at ~10–12 days post pollination (dpp). Peels from resistant (16 dpp) versus susceptible (8 dpp) age fruit are enriched with genes associated with defense, and methanolic extracts from resistant age peels inhibit pathogen growth. Here we compared developing fruits from ‘Vlaspik’ with those of ‘Gy14’, a line that does not exhibit ARR. Transcriptomic analysis of peels of the two lines at 8 and 16 dpp identified 80 genes that were developmentally upregulated in resistant ‘Vlaspik’ 16 dpp versus 8 dpp, but not in susceptible ‘Gy14’ at 16 dpp. A large number of these genes are annotated to be associated with defense and/or specialized metabolism, including four putative resistance (R) genes, and numerous genes involved in flavonoid and terpenoid synthesis and decoration. Untargeted metabolomic analysis was performed on extracts from 8 and 16 dpp ‘Vlaspik’ and ‘Gy14’ fruit peels using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Multivariate analysis of the metabolomes identified 113 ions uniquely abundant in resistant ‘Vlaspik’ 16 dpp peel extracts. The most abundant compounds in this group had relative mass defects consistent with terpenoid glycosides. Two of the three most abundant ions were annotated as glycosylated nor-terpenoid esters. Together, these analyses reveal potential mechanisms by which ARR to P. capsici may be conferred.