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Network modelling unravels mechanisms of crosstalk between ethylene and salicylate signalling in potato

By Živa Ramšak, Anna Coll, Tjaša Stare, Oren Tzfadia, Špela Baebler, Yves Van de Peer, Kristina Gruden

Posted 06 Nov 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/214940 (published DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.00450)

To provide means for novel crop breeding strategies, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms underlying the interaction between plants and their pathogens. Network modelling represents a powerful tool that can unravel properties of complex biological systems. Here, we build on a reliable Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.) immune signalling model, extending it with the information from diverse publically available resources. The resulting prior knowledge network (20,012 nodes, 70,091 connections) was then translated to potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and superimposed with an ensemble network inferred from potato time-resolved transcriptomics data. We used different network modelling approaches to generate specific hypotheses of potato immune signalling mechanisms. An interesting finding was the identification of a string of molecular events, illuminating the ethylene pathway modulation of the salicylic acid pathway through NPR1 gene expression. Functional validations confirmed this modulation, thus confirming the potential of our integrative network modelling approach for unravelling molecular mechanisms in complex systems.

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