Positive roles of the Ca2+ sensors GbCML45 and GbCML50 in improving cotton Verticillium wilt resistance


As a universal second messenger, cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) functions in multifaceted intracellular processes, including growth, development and responses to biotic/abiotic stresses in plant. The plant-specific Ca2+ sensors, calmodulin and calmodulin-like (CML) proteins, function as members of the second-messenger system to transfer Ca2+ signal into downstream responses. However, the functions of CMLs in the responses of cotton (Gossypium spp.) after Verticillium dahliae infection, which causes the serious vascular disease Verticillium wilt, remain elusive. Here, we discovered that the expression level of GbCML45 was promoted after V. dahliae infection in roots of cotton, suggesting its potential role in Verticillium wilt resistance. We found that knockdown of GbCML45 in cotton plants decreased resistance while overexpression of GbCML45 in Arabidopsis thaliana plants enhanced resistance to V. dahliae infection. Furthermore, there was physiological interaction between GbCML45 and its close homologue GbCML50 by using yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence assays, and both proteins enhanced cotton resistance to V. dahliae infection in a Ca2+-dependent way in a knockdown study. Detailed investigations indicated that several defence-related pathways, including salicylic acid, ethylene, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide signalling pathways, as well as accumulations of lignin and callose, are responsible for GbCML45- and GbCML50-modulated V. dahliae resistance in cotton. These results collectively indicated that GbCML45 and GbCML50 act as positive regulators to improve cotton Verticillium wilt resistance, providing potential targets for exploitation of improved Verticillium wilt-tolerant cotton cultivars by genetic engineering and molecular breeding.


© 2024 The Author(s). Molecular Plant Pathology published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. cc-by


calmodulin, cotton, hormones, reactive oxygen species, Verticillium wilt resistance


Yi, F., Li, Y., Song, A., Shi, X., Hu, S., Wu, S., Shao, L., Chu, Z., Xu, K., Li, L., Tran, L.-S.P., Li, W., & Cai, Y.. 2024. Positive roles of the Ca2+ sensors GbCML45 and GbCML50 in improving cotton Verticillium wilt resistance. Molecular Plant Pathology, 25(6). https://doi.org/10.1111/mpp.13483