Comparison of gene co-networks analysis provide a systems view of rice (Oryza sativa L.) response to Tilletia horrida infection
The biotrophic soil-borne fungus Tilletia horrida causes rice kernel smut, an important disease affecting the production of rice male sterile lines in most hybrid rice growing regions of the world. There are no successful ways of controlling this disease and there has been little study of mechanisms of resistance to T. horrida. Based on transcriptional data of different infection time points, we found 23, 782 and 23, 718 differentially expressed genes (fragments per kilobase of transcript sequence per million, FPKM >1) in Jiangcheng 3A (resistant to T. horrida) and 9311A (susceptible to T. horrida), respectively. In order to illuminate the differential responses of the two rice male sterile lines to T. horrida, we identified gene co-expression modules using the method of weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) and compared the different biological functions of gene co-expression networks in key modules at different infection time points. The results indicated that gene co-expression networks in the two rice genotypes were different and that genes contained in some modules of the two groups may play important roles in resistance to T. horrida, such as DTH8 and OsHop/Sti1a. Furthermore, these results provide a global view of the responses of two different phenotypes to T. horrida, and assist our understanding of the regulation of expression changes after T. horrida infection.