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Article|17 May 2022|OPEN
Quantitative proteomic sequencing of F1 hybrid populations reveals the function of sorbitol in apple resistance to Botryosphaeria dothidea 
Xiaowen He1 ,† , Hui Meng2 ,† , Haibo Wang1 , Ping He1 , Yuansheng Chang1 , Sen Wang1 , Chuanzeng Wang3 , Linguang Li1 , and Chen Wang,2 ,
1Shandong Institute of Pomology, Taian, Shandong 271000, China
2State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, China
3Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, Shandong 250100, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac115 (2022)
Views: 93

Received: 03 Jan 2022
Accepted: 02 May 2022
Published online: 17 May 2022


Apple ring rot, which is caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, is one of the most devastating diseases of apple. However, the lack of a known molecular resistance mechanism limits the development of resistance breeding. Here, the ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Fuji Nagafu No. 2’ apple cultivars were crossed, and a population of 194 F1 individuals was generated. The hybrids were divided into five categories according to their differences in B. dothidea resistance during three consecutive years. Quantitative proteomic sequencing was performed to analyze the molecular mechanism of the apple response to B. dothidea infection. Hierarchical clustering and weighted gene coexpression network analysis revealed that photosynthesis was significantly correlated with the resistance of apple to B. dothidea. The level of chlorophyll fluorescence in apple functional leaves increased progressively as the level of disease resistance improved. However, the content of soluble sugar decreased with the improvement of disease resistance. Further research revealed that sorbitol, the primary photosynthetic product, played major roles in apple resistance to B. dothidea. Increasing the content of sorbitol by overexpressing MdS6PDH1 dramatically enhanced resistance of apple calli to B. dothidea by activating the expression of salicylic acid signaling pathway-related genes. However, decreasing the content of sorbitol by silencing MdS6PDH1 showed the opposite phenotype. Furthermore, exogenous sorbitol treatment partially restored the resistance of MdS6PDH1-RNAi lines to B. dothidea. Taken together, these findings reveal that sorbitol is an important metabolite that regulates the resistance of apple to B. dothidea and offer new insights into the mechanism of plant resistance to pathogens.