Methyl salicylate production in tomato affects biotic interactions.
ABSTRACT The role of methyl salicylate (MeSA) production was studied in indirect and direct defence responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to the spider mite Tetranychus urticae and the root-invading fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, respectively. To this end, we silenced the tomato gene encoding salicylic acid methyl transferase (SAMT). Silencing of SAMT led to a major reduction in SAMT expression and MeSA emission upon herbivory by spider mites, without affecting the induced emission of other volatiles (terpenoids). The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, which preys on T. urticae, could not discriminate between infested and non-infested SAMT-silenced lines, as it could for wild-type tomato plants. Moreover, when given the choice between infested SAMT-silenced and infested wild-type plants, they preferred the latter. These findings are supportive of a major role for MeSA in this indirect defence response of tomato. SAMT-silenced tomato plants were less susceptible to a virulent strain of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, indicating that the direct defense responses in the roots are also affected in these plants. Our studies show that the conversion of SA to MeSA can affect both direct and indirect plant defence responses.
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ABSTRACT: The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) mutant def-1, which is deficient in induced jasmonic acid (JA) accumulation upon wounding or herbivory, was used to study the role of JA in the direct and indirect defense responses to phytophagous mites (Tetranychus urticae). In contrast to earlier reports, spider mites laid as many eggs and caused as much damage on def-1 as on wild-type plants, even though def-1 lacked induction of proteinase inhibitor activity. However, the hatching-rate of eggs on def-1 was significantly higher, suggesting that JA-dependent direct defenses enhanced egg mortality or increased the time needed for embryonic development. As to gene expression, def-1 had lower levels of JA-related transcripts but higher levels of salicylic acid (SA) related transcripts after 1 d of spider mite infestation. Furthermore, the indirect defense response was absent in def-1, since the five typical spider mite-induced tomato-volatiles (methyl salicylate [MeSA], 4,8,12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene [TMTT], linalool, trans-nerolidol, and trans-beta-ocimene) were not induced and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis did not discriminate between infested and uninfested def-1 tomatoes as it did with wild-type tomatoes. Similarly, the expression of the MeSA biosynthetic gene salicylic acid methyltransferase (SAMT) was induced by spider mites in wild type but not in def-1. Exogenous application of JA to def-1 induced the accumulation of SAMT and putative geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase transcripts and restored MeSA- and TMTT-emission upon herbivory. JA is therefore necessary to induce the enzymatic conversion of SA into MeSA. We conclude that JA is essential for establishing the spider mite-induced indirect defense response in tomato.Plant physiology 09/2004; 135(4):2025-37. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two genes encoding proteins of 98% sequence identity that are highly homologous to tobacco methyl salicylate (MeSA) esterase (SABP2) were identified and cloned from poplar. Proteins encoded by these two genes displayed specific esterase activities towards MeSA to produce salicylic acid, and are named PtSABP2-1 and PtSABP2-2, respectively. Recombinant PtSABP2-1 and PtSABP2-2 exhibited apparent Km values of 68.2+/-3.8microM and 24.6+/-1microM with MeSA, respectively. Structural modeling using the three-dimensional structure of tobacco SABP2 as a template indicated that the active sites of PtSABP2-1 and PtSABP2-2 were highly similar to that of tobacco SABP2. Under normal growing conditions, PtSABP2-1 showed the highest level of expression in leaves and PtSABP2-2 was most highly expressed in roots. In leaf tissues of poplar plants under stress conditions, the expression of PtSABP2-1 was significantly down-regulated by two stress factors, whereas the expression of PtSABP2-2 was significantly up-regulated by four stress factors. The plausible mechanisms leading to these two highly homologous MeSA esterase genes involved in divergent biological processes in poplar are discussed.Phytochemistry 02/2009; 70(1):32-9. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The RGC2 gene cluster in lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is one of the largest known families of genes encoding nucleotide binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins. One of its members, RGC2B, encodes Dm3 which determines resistance to downy mildew caused by the oomycete Bremia lactucae carrying the cognate avirulence gene, Avr3. We developed an efficient strategy for analysis of this large family of low expressed genes using post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS). We transformed lettuce cv. Diana (carrying Dm3) using chimeric gene constructs designed to simultaneously silence RGC2B and the GUS reporter gene via the production of interfering hairpin RNA (ihpRNA). Transient assays of GUS expression in leaves accurately predicted silencing of both genes and were subsequently used to assay silencing in transgenic T(1) plants and their offspring. Levels of mRNA were reduced not only for RGC2B but also for all seven diverse RGC2 family members tested. We then used the same strategy to show that the resistance specificity encoded by the genetically defined Dm18 locus in lettuce cv. Mariska is the result of two resistance specificities, only one of which was silenced by ihpRNA derived from RGC2B. Analysis of progeny from crosses between transgenic, silenced tester stocks and lettuce accessions carrying other resistance genes previously mapped to the RGC2 locus indicated that two additional resistance specificities to B. lactucae, Dm14 and Dm16, as well as resistance to lettuce root aphid (Pemphigus bursarius L.), Ra, are encoded by RGC2 family members.The Plant Journal 10/2007; 51(5):803-18. · 6.58 Impact Factor