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Article|17 May 2022|OPEN
Chemical induction of leaf senescence and powdery mildew resistance involves ethylene-mediated chlorophyll degradation and ROS metabolism in cucumber
Dingyu Zhang1,2 ,† , Shengdong Wu1 ,† , Ning Li1 ,† , Jiong Gao1 , Shihui Liu3 , Shuai Zhu1 , Zilin Li1 and Guodong Ren1,2 , , Benke Kuai,1,2 ,
1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Fudan Center for Genetic Diversity and Designing Agriculture, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
2Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
3College of Horticulture, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Dingyu Zhang and Shengdong Wu,Ning Li contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac101 (2022)
Views: 456

Received: 15 Oct 2021
Accepted: 18 Apr 2022
Published online: 17 May 2022


Timely initiation of leaf senescence is an integral part of plant development and, importantly, an adaptive strategy by which plants cope with various stresses, e.g. to limit the spread of pathogens. Powdery mildew is a major cucumber disease that promotes the initiation/progression of leaf senescence and reduces leaf photosynthesis, resulting in severe losses of yield and quality. However, how powdery mildew induces leaf senescence and how cucumber plants respond to enhance their resistance remain unclear. Here, with established agrochemical induction and pathogen inoculation systems, we demonstrate that both probenazole (PBZ) and powdery mildew activate ethylene (ET) biosynthesis and signal transduction, consequently promoting leaf senescence and enhancing plant resistance to powdery mildew through CsEIN3 to directly upregulate the expression of CsCCGs and CsRBOHs. Our analysis convincingly suggests that the regulation of leaf senescence and powdery mildew resistance is interconnected and mediated mainly by ET in cucumber.