A methyl esterase 1 (PvMES1) promotes the salicylic acid pathway and enhances Fusarium wilt resistance in common beans

Theor Appl Genet. 2021 Aug;134(8):2379-2398. doi: 10.1007/s00122-021-03830-1. Epub 2021 Jun 14.


Methyl esterase (MES), PvMES1, contributes to the defense response toward Fusarium wilt in common beans by regulating the salicylic acid (SA) mediated signaling pathway from phenylpropanoid synthesis and sugar metabolism as well as others. Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important food legume. Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli is one of the most serious soil-borne diseases of common bean found throughout the world and affects the yield and quality of the crop. Few sources of Fusarium wilt resistance exist in legumes and most are of quantitative inheritance. In this study, we have identified a methyl esterase (MES), PvMES1, that contributes to plant defense response by regulating the salicylic acid (SA) mediated signaling pathway in response to Fusarium wilt in common beans. The result showed the role of PvMES1 in regulating SA levels in common bean and thus the SA signaling pathway and defense response mechanism in the plant. Overexpression of the PvMES1 gene enhanced Fusarium wilt resistance; while silencing of the gene caused susceptibility to the diseases. RNA-seq analysis with these transiently modified plants showed that genes related to SA level changes included the following gene ontologies: (a) phenylpropanoid synthesis; (b) sugar metabolism; and (c) interaction between host and pathogen as well as others. These key signal elements activated the defense response pathway in common bean to Fusarium wilt. Collectively, our findings indicate that PvMES1 plays a pivotal role in regulating SA biosynthesis and signaling, and increasing Fusarium wilt resistance in common bean, thus providing novel insight into the practical applications of both SA and MES genes and pathways they contribute to for developing elite crop varieties with enhanced broad-spectrum resistance to this critical disease.