African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12470

Full Length Research Paper

Protective effect and expression of defense-related ESTs induced by acibenzolar-S-methyl and a phosphorylated mannan oligosaccharide-based product against Moniliophthora perniciosa in Theobroma cacao

Lívia de Matos Pereira1, Mário Lúcio Vilela de Resende1*, Sandra Marisa Mathioni1, Magnólia Araújo Campos2, Pedro Martins Ribeiro Júnior1, Fabrício Rabelo Camilo1, Anderson Tadeu Silva3 and Luciano Vilela Paiva3
  1Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, CP 3037, CEP 37.200-000, Lavras, MG, Brazil. 2Unidade Acadêmica de Educação-Biologia, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Centro de Educação e Saúde, CEP 58175-000, Cuité, PB, Brazil. 3Laboratório Central de Biologia Molecular, Universidade Federal de Lavras, MG, Brazil.
Email: [email protected].

  •  Accepted: 25 February 2013
  •  Published: 31 March 2013



Witches’ broom disease (WBD), caused by the fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa, is one of the main diseases in cocoa (Theobroma cacao) and has caused severe economic losses. Integrated disease management has been the focus for its control and therefore, the identification of new inducers of plant resistance is desirable. Thus, the goal of this work was to evaluate two potential inducers of resistance against WBD. A phosphorylated mannan oligosaccharide-based product (PMO) and acibenzolar S-methyl (ASM) were tested on M. perniciosa inoculated seedlings and in field experiments and showed a reduction on the incidence of WBD. The expression of two defense-related expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in cocoa, coding for peroxidase (Pox) and chitinase (Chi), were accessed by qPCR. Both products induced the expression of the Pox defense-related EST. In general, ASM induced the expression of chitinase (Chi) and peroxidase (Pox) in earlier time-points than PMO. However, PMO provided long-lasting and higher levels of expression. Chi expression was triggered in the time-points succeeding the spraying but was very low. On the other hand, peaks of Pox transcripts were detected in later time-points for both inducers. ASM and PMO modes of action might be explained, at least partially, by the overexpression of defense-related ESTs.


Key words: Cocoa, witches’ broom disease, disease control, peroxidase, chitinase, induced resistance, elicitors, quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR).