Black rot disease, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), results in significant yield losses in Brassica oleracea crops worldwide. To find black rot disease-resistant cabbage lines, we carried out pathogenicity assays using the scissor-clipping method in 94 different B. oleracea lines. By comparing the lesion areas, we selected a relatively resistant line, Black rot Resistance 155 (BR155), and a highly susceptible line, SC31. We compared the two cabbage lines for the Xcc-induced expression pattern of 13 defense-related genes. Among them, the Xcc-induced expression level of PR1 and antioxidant-related genes (SOD, POD, APX, Trx H, and CHI) were more than two times higher in BR155 than SC31. Nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride (DAB) staining analysis showed that BR155 accumulated less Xcc-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) than did SC31. In addition, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assays showed that BR155 had higher antioxidant activity than SC31. This study, focused on the defense responses of cabbage during the early biotrophic stage of infection, indicated that Xcc-induced ROS might play a role in black rot disease development. We suggest that non-enzymatic antioxidants are important, particularly in the early defense mechanisms of cabbage against Xcc.
Keywords: Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris; antioxidant; black rot; cabbage; disease resistance.