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Article|19 Jan 2022|OPEN
Starch content changes and metabolism-related gene regulation of Chinese cabbage synergistically induced by Plasmodiophora brassicae infection 
Yinbo Ma1,2 ,† , Su Ryun Choi2 ,† , Yu Wang1 ,† , Sushil Satish Chhapekar2 , Xue Zhang1 , Yingjun Wang1 , Xueying Zhang1 , Meiyu Zhu1 , Di Liu1 , Zhennan Zuo1 , Xinyu Yan1 , Caixia Gan3 , Di Zhao4 , Yue Liang5 and Wenxing Pang1 , , Yong Pyo Lim,2 ,
1College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
2Molecular Genetics and Genomics Laboratory, Department of Horticulture, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Republic of Korea
3Cash Crops Research Institute, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hubei Key Laboratory of Vegetable Germplasm Enhancement and Genetic Improvement, Wuhan 430070, China
4Analytical and Testing Center, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
5College of Plant Protection, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Yinbo Ma and Su Ryun Choi,Yu Wang contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhab071 (2022)
Views: 176

Received: 22 Jul 2021
Accepted: 31 Oct 2021
Published online: 19 Jan 2022


Clubroot is one of the major diseases adversely affecting Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) yield and quality. To precisely characterize the Plasmodiophora brassicae infection of Chinese cabbage, we developed a dual fluorescent staining method for simultaneously examining the pathogen, cell structures, and starch grains. The number of starch (amylopectin) grains increased in B. rapa roots infected by P. brassicae, especially from 14 to 21 days after inoculation. Therefore, the expression levels of 38 core starch metabolism genes were investigated by quantitative real-time PCR. Most genes related to starch synthesis were up-regulated at 7 days after P. brassicae inoculation, whereas the expression levels of starch degradation-related genes were increased at 14 days after inoculation. Then, genes encoding the core enzymes involved in starch metabolism were investigated by assessing their chromosomal distributions, structures, duplication events, and synteny among Brassica species. Genome comparisons indicated that 38 non-redundant genes belonging to six core gene families related to starch metabolism are highly conserved among Arabidopsis thaliana, B. rapaBrassica nigra, and Brassica oleracea. Previous genome sequencing projects have revealed that P. brassicae obtained host nutrients by manipulating plant metabolism. Starch may serve as a carbon source for P. brassicae colonization, as indicated by histological observations and transcriptomic analysis. Results of this study may elucidate the evolution and expression of core starch metabolism genes and provide researchers with novel insights into the pathogenesis of clubroot in B. rapa.