Removal of terminal buds (topping) and control of the formation of axillary shoots (suckers) are common agronomic practices that significantly impact the yield and quality of various crop plants. Application of chemicals (suckercides) to plants following topping is an effective method for sucker control. However, our current knowledge of the influence of topping, and subsequent suckercide applications, to gene expression is limited. We analyzed the differential gene expression using RNA-sequencing in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) that are topped, or treated after topping by two different suckercides, the contact-localized-systemic, Flupro® (FP), and contact, Off-Shoot-T®. Among the differentially expressed genes (DEGs), 179 were identified as common to all three conditions. DEGs, largely related to wounding, phytohormone metabolism and secondary metabolite biosynthesis, exhibited significant upregulation following topping, and downregulation after suckercide treatments. DEGs related to photosynthetic processes were repressed following topping and suckercide treatments. Moreover, topping and FP-treatment affect the expression of auxin and cytokinin signaling pathway genes that are possibly involved in axillary shoot formation. Our results provide insights into the global change of plant gene expression in response to topping and suckercide treatments. The regulatory elements of topping-inducible genes are potentially useful for the development of a chemical-free sucker control system.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 5, article 18148, p. 1-13.

Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

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Supplementary Information

srep18148-s2.xls (204 kB)
Supplementary Table S3

srep18148-s3.xls (149 kB)
Supplementary Table S4

srep18148-s4.xls (109 kB)
Supplementary Table S5

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