Mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), produced by Gibberella zeae (Schwein.) Petch (teleomorph of Fusarium graminearum Schwabe) was known to be both a virulence factor in the pathogenesis of Triticum aestivum L. (wheat) and an inhibitor of Arabidopsis thaliana L. seed germination. Fusarium graminearum causes both Gibberella ear rot in maize (Zea mays L.) and Fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat and barley. Arabidopsis thaliana was also a host for the related root rot pathogen F. virguliforme Aoki. A. thaliana seedling growth was reduced by the pathogen in a proportional response to increasing spore concentrations. Here, the changes in transcript abundances corresponding to 10,560 A. thaliana expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was compared with changes in 192 known plant defense and biotic/abiotic stress related genes in soybean roots after infestation with F. virguliforme. A parallel comparison with a set of resistance pathways involved in response to the DON toxicity in A. thaliana was performed. A. thaliana data was obtained from the AFGC depository. The variations of transcript abundances in Arabidopsis and soybean treated with pathogen suggest that both plants respond to the pathogen mainly by common, possibly global responses with some specific secondary metabolic pathways involved in defense. In contrast, DON toxin appeared to impact central metabolisms in Arabidopsis plants with significant alterations ranging from the protein metabolism to redox production. Several new putative resistance pathways involved in responding to both pathogen and DON infestation in soybean and A. thaliana were identified.



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