Lennart Eschen-Lippold

Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry, Halle-on-the-Saale, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

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Publications (31)116.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are central signalling pathways activated in plants after sensing internal developmental and external stress cues. Knowledge about the downstream substrate proteins of MAPKs is still limited in plants. We screened Arabidopsis WRKY transcription factors as potential targets downstream of MAPKs, and concentrated on characterizing WRKY46 as a substrate of the MAPK, MPK3. Mass spectrometry revealed in vitro phosphorylation of WRKY46 at amino acid position S168 by MPK3. However, mutagenesis studies showed that a second phosphosite, S250, can also be phosphorylated. Elicitation with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), such as the bacterial flagellin-derived flg22 peptide led to in vivo destabilization of WRKY46 in Arabidopsis protoplasts. Mutation of either phosphorylation site reduced the PAMP-induced degradation of WRKY46. Furthermore, the protein for the double phosphosite mutant is expressed at higher levels compared to wild-type proteins or single phosphosite mutants. In line with its nuclear localization and predicted function as a transcriptional activator, overexpression of WRKY46 in protoplasts raised basal plant defence as reflected by the increase in promoter activity of the PAMP-responsive gene, NHL10, in a MAPK-dependent manner. Thus, MAPK-mediated regulation of WRKY46 is a mechanism to control plant defence.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of Arabidopsis thaliana to successfully prevent colonization by Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of late blight disease of potato, depends on multilayered defense responses. To address the role of surface-localized secondary metabolites for entry control, droplets of a P. infestans zoospore suspension, incubated on Arabidopsis leaves, were subjected to untargeted metabolite profiling. The hydroxycinnamic acid amide coumaroylagmatine was among the metabolites secreted into the inoculum. In vitro assays revealed an inhibitory activity of coumaroylagmatine on P. infestans spore germination. Mutant analyses suggested a requirement of the p-coumaroyl-CoA:agmatine N4-p-coumaroyl transferase ACT for the biosynthesis, and of the MATE transporter DTX18 for the extracellular accumulation of coumaroylagmatine. The host plant potato is not able to efficiently secrete coumaroylagmatine. This inability is overcome in transgenic potato plants expressing both Arabidopsis genes, ACT and DTX18. These plants secrete agmatine and putrescine conjugates to high levels, indicating that DTX18 is a hydroxycinnamic acid amide transporter with a distinct specificity. The export of hydroxycinnamic acid amides correlates with a decreased ability of P. infestans spores to germinate, suggesting a contribution of secreted antimicrobial compounds to pathogen defense at the leaf surface.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Plant Cell
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    Justin Lee · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Ines Lassowskat · Christoph Böttcher · Dierk Scheel
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    ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are conserved eukaryote signaling modules where MAPKs, as the final kinases in the cascade, phosphorylate protein substrates to regulate cellular processes. While some progress in the identification of MAPK substrates has been made in plants, the knowledge on the spectrum of substrates and their mechanistic action is still fragmentary. In this focused review, we discuss the biological implications of the data in our original paper (Sustained mitogen-activated protein kinase activation reprograms defense metabolism and phosphoprotein profile in Arabidopsis thaliana; Frontiers in Plant Science 5: 554) in the context of related research. In our work, we mimicked in vivo activation of two stress-activated MAPKs, MPK3 and MPK6, through transgenic manipulation of Arabidopsis thaliana and used phosphoproteomics analysis to identify potential novel MAPK substrates. Here, we plotted the identified putative MAPK substrates (and downstream phosphoproteins) as a global protein clustering network. Based on a highly stringent selection confidence level, the core networks highlighted a MAPK-induced cellular reprogramming at multiple levels of gene and protein expression—including transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational, post-translational (such as protein modification, folding, and degradation) steps, and also protein re-compartmentalization. Additionally, the increase in putative substrates/phosphoproteins of energy metabolism and various secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways coincides with the observed accumulation of defense antimicrobial substances as detected by metabolome analysis. Furthermore, detection of protein networks in phospholipid or redox elements suggests activation of downstream signaling events. Taken in context with other studies, MAPKs are key regulators that reprogram cellular events to orchestrate defense signaling in eukaryotes.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    Stefanie Ranf · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Katja Fröhlich · Lore Westphal · Dierk Scheel · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Background Plant perception of conserved microbe-derived or damage-derived molecules (so-called microbe- or damage-associated molecular patterns, MAMPs or DAMPs, respectively) triggers cellular signaling cascades to initiate counteracting defence responses. Using MAMP-induced rise in cellular calcium levels as one of the earliest biochemical readouts, we initiated a genetic screen for components involved in early MAMP signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana.ResultsWe characterize here the ¿changed calcium elevation 5¿ (cce5) mutant, where five allelic cce5 mutants were isolated. They all show reduced calcium levels after elicitation with peptides representing bacteria-derived MAMPs (flg22 and elf18) and endogenous DAMP (AtPep1), but a normal response to chitin octamers. Mapping, sequencing of the mutated locus and complementation studies revealed CCE5 to encode the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (RLCK), avr P ph B s ensitive 1 -like 1 (PBL1). Kinase activities of PBL1 derived from three of the cce5 alleles are abrogated in vivo. Validation with T-DNA mutants revealed that, besides PBL1, another RLCK, Botrytis-induced kinase 1 (BIK1), is also required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium elevations.Conclusions Hence, PBL1 and BIK1 (but not two related RLCKs, PBS1 and PBL2) are required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium signaling. It remains to be investigated if the many other RLCKs encoded in the Arabidopsis genome affect early calcium signal transduction ¿ perhaps in dependence on the type of MAMP/DAMP ligands. A future challenge would be to identify the substrates of these various RLCKs, in order to elucidate their signaling role between the receptor complexes at the plasma membrane and downstream cellular signaling components.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · BMC Plant Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) induces multiple defence mechanisms to limit pathogen growth. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana tandem zinc finger protein 9 (TZF9) is phosphorylated by PAMP-responsive mitogen-activated kinases (MAPKs) and is required to trigger a full PAMP-triggered immune response. Analysis of a tzf9 mutant revealed attenuation in specific PAMP-triggered reactions such as reactive oxygen species accumulation, mitogen-activated kinase activation and partially, the expression of several PAMP-responsive genes. In accordance to these weaker PAMP-triggered responses, tzf9 mutant plants exhibit enhanced susceptibility to virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Visualization of TZF9 localization by fusion to green fluorescent protein revealed cytoplasmic foci that co-localize with processing bodies (P-bodies) marker proteins. This localization pattern is affected by inhibitor treatments that limit mRNA availability (such as cycloheximide or actinomycin-D), or block nuclear export (leptomycin-B). Coupled with its ability to bind the ribohomopolymer poly-rU and poly-rG, these results suggest involvement of TZF9 in post-transcriptional regulation, such as mRNA processing or storage pathways, to regulate plant innate immunity.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Plant and Cell Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanistically, nonhost resistance of Arabidopsis thaliana against the oomycete Phytophthora infestans is not well understood. Besides PEN2 and PEN3, which contribute to penetration resistance, no further components have been identified so far. In an EMS-mutant screen, we mutagenized pen2-1 and screened for mutants with an altered response to infection by P. infestans. One of the mutants obtained, enhanced response to Phytophthora infestans6 (erp6), was analyzed. Whole genome sequencing of erp6 revealed a single nucleotide polymorphism in the coding region of the kinase domain of At1g08720, which encodes the putative MAPKKK ENHANCED DISEASE RESISTANCE1 (EDR1). We demonstrate that three independent lines with knock out alleles of edr1 mount an enhanced response to P. infestans inoculation, mediated by increased salicylic acid signaling and callose deposition. Moreover, we show that the single amino acid substitution in erp6 causes the loss of in vitro autophosphorylation activity of EDR1. Furthermore, growth inhibition experiments suggest a so far unknown involvement of EDR1 in the response to the PAMPs, flg22 and elf18. We conclude that EDR1 contributes to the defense response of A. thaliana against P. infestans. Our data position EDR1 as a negative regulator in post-invasive nonhost resistance.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
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    Ines Lassowskat · Christoph Böttcher · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Dierk Scheel · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) target a variety of protein substrates to regulate cellular signaling processes in eukaryotes. In plants, the number of identified MAPK substrates that control plant defense responses is still limited. Here, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants with an inducible system to simulate in vivo activation of two stress-activated MAPKs, MPK3, and MPK6. Metabolome analysis revealed that this artificial MPK3/6 activation (without any exposure to pathogens or other stresses) is sufficient to drive the production of major defense-related metabolites, including various camalexin, indole glucosinolate and agmatine derivatives. An accompanying (phospho)proteome analysis led to detection of hundreds of potential phosphoproteins downstream of MPK3/6 activation. Besides known MAPK substrates, many candidates on this list possess typical MAPK-targeted phosphosites and in many cases, the corresponding phosphopeptides were detected by mass spectrometry. Notably, several of these putative phosphoproteins have been reported to be associated with the biosynthesis of antimicrobial defense substances (e.g., WRKY transcription factors and proteins encoded by the genes from the "PEN" pathway required for penetration resistance to filamentous pathogens). Thus, this work provides an inventory of candidate phosphoproteins, including putative direct MAPK substrates, for future analysis of MAPK-mediated defense control. (Proteomics data are available with the identifier PXD001252 via ProteomeXchange, http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org).
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    ABSTRACT: The lipid biopolymer suberin plays a major role as a barrier both at plant-environment interfaces and in internal tissues, restricting water and nutrient transport. In potato (Solanum tuberosum), tuber integrity is dependent on suberized periderm. Using microarray analyses, we identified ABCG1, encoding an ABC transporter, as a gene responsive to the pathogen-associated molecular pattern Pep-13. Further analyses revealed that ABCG1 is expressed in roots and tuber periderm, as well as in wounded leaves. Transgenic ABCG1-RNAi potato plants with downregulated expression of ABCG1 display major alterations in both root and tuber morphology, whereas the aerial part of the ABCG1-RNAi plants appear normal. The tuber periderm and root exodermis show reduced suberin staining and disorganized cell layers. Metabolite analyses revealed reduction of esterified suberin components and hyperaccumulation of putative suberin precursors in the tuber periderm of RNA interference plants, suggesting that ABCG1 is required for the export of suberin components.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · The Plant Cell
  • Martin Weyhe · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Pascal Pecher · Dierk Scheel · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Out of the 34 members of the VQ-motif-containing protein (VQP) family, 10 are phosphorylated by the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), MPK3 and MPK6. Most of these MPK3/6-targeted VQPs (MVQs) interacted with specific sub-groups of WRKY transcription factors in a VQ-motif-dependent manner. In some cases, the MAPK appears to phosphorylate either the MVQ or the WRKY, while in other cases, both proteins have been reported to act as MAPK substrates. We propose a network of dynamic interactions between members from the MAPK, MVQ and WRKY families - either as binary or as tripartite interactions. The compositions of the WRKY-MVQ transcriptional protein complexes may change - for instance, through MPK3/6-mediated modulation of protein stability - and therefore control defense gene transcription.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Plant signaling & behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Transient infiltrations in tobacco are commonly used in plant studies but the host response to different disarmed Agrobacterium strains is not fully understood. The present study shows that the pre-treatment with disarmed Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain GV3101 primes the defense response to subsequent infection by Pseudomonas syringae in Nicotiana tabacum. The presence of a trans-zeatin synthase (tzs) gene in strain GV3101 may be partly responsible for the priming response as the tzs deficient Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 only weakly imparts such responses. Besides inducing the expression of defense-related genes like PR-1 and NHL10, GV3101 pre-treatment increased the expression of tobacco mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway genes like MEK2, WIPK and SIPK . Furthermore, the GV3101 strain showed a stronger effect than the LBA4404 strain in activating phosphorylation of the tobacco MAP kinases, WIPK and SIPK, which presumably primes the plant immune machinery. Lower doses of exogenously applied cytokinins increased the activation of MAPKs while higher doses decreased the activation, suggesting a balanced level of cytokinins is required to generate defense response in planta. The current study serves as a cautionary warning for plant researchers over the choice of Agrobacterium strains and their possible consequences on subsequent pathogen-related studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
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    Martin Weyhe · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Pascal Pecher · Dierk Scheel · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Out of the 34 members of the VQ-motif-containing protein (VQP) family, ten are phosphorylated by the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), MPK3 and MPK6. Most of these MPK3/6-targeted VQPs (MVQs) interacted with specific sub-groups of WRKY transcription factors in a VQ-motif-dependent manner. In some cases, the MAPK appears to phosphorylate either the MVQ or the WRKY, while in other cases, both proteins have been reported to act as MAPK substrates. We propose a network of dynamic interactions between members from the MAPK, MVQ and WRKY families - either as binary or as tripartite interactions. The compositions of the WRKY-MVQ transcriptional protein complexes may change - for instance, through MPK3/6-mediated modulation of protein stability - and therefore control defence gene transcription.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Plant signaling & behavior
  • Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Nicole Bauer · Julia Löhr · Mieder A T Palm-Forster · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are one of the best studied pathways for posttranslational modification-mediated regulation of protein functions. Here, we describe a rapid in vitro method to screen potential protein phosphorylation sites targeted by MAPKs. The method is based on PCR-mediated mutagenesis together with a type IIs restriction digest. Screening for the successfully mutated clones is further facilitated through introduction of a second diagnostic restriction site. Besides time-saving, this reduces the cost for sequencing confirmation of the positive clones, which are used for subsequent recombinant protein production and kinase assay validation.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
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    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2014
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    ABSTRACT: ABA is a central player in plants response to drought stress. How variable levels of ABA under short-term versus long-term drought stress impact assimilation and growth in crops is unclear. We addressed this through comparative analysis, using two elite breeding lines of barley that show senescence or stay-green phenotype under terminal drought stress and by making use of transgenic barley lines that express AtNCED (Arabidopis thaliana 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase) coding sequence or an RNAi sequence of ABA8'-OH (ABA 8'-hydroxylase) under the control of a drought-inducible barley promoter. The high levels of ABA and its catabolites in the senescing breeding line under long-term stress were detrimental for assimilate productivity whereas these levels were not perturbed in the stay-green type that performed better. In transgenic barley, drought-inducible AtNCED expression afforded temporal control in ABA levels such that the ABA levels rose sooner than in wild-type (WT) plants but also subsided, unlike as in WT, to near-basal levels upon prolonged stress treatment due to downregulation of endogenous HvNCED genes. The interdiction of ABA catabolism with RNAi approach of ABA8'-OH had lower ABA flux during the entire period of stress. These transgenic plants performed better than the WT under stress to maintain a favourable instantaneous water use efficiency and better assimilation. Gene expression analysis, protein structural modeling, and protein-protein interaction analyses of the members of the PYR/PYL/RCAR, PP2C, SnRK2, and ABI5/ABF family identified specific members that could potentially impact ABA metabolism and stress adaptation in barley.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Plant physiology
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    ABSTRACT: The rapid increase in heat shock proteins upon exposure to damaging stresses and during plant development related to desiccation events reveal their dual importance in plant development and stress tolerance. Genome-wide sequence survey identified 20 non-redundant small heat shock proteins (sHsp) and 22 heat shock factor (Hsf) genes in barley. While all three major classes (A, B, C) of Hsfs are localized in nucleus, the 20 sHsp gene family members are localized in different cell organelles like cytoplasm, mitochondria, plastid and peroxisomes. Hsf and sHsp members are differentially regulated during drought and at different seed developmental stages suggesting the importance of chaperone role under drought as well as seed development. In silico cis-regulatory motif analysis of Hsf promoters showed an enrichment with abscisic acid responsive cis-elements (ABRE), implying regulatory role of ABA in mediating transcriptional response of HvsHsf genes. Gene regulatory network analysis identified HvHsfB2c as potential central regulator of the seed-specific expression of several HvsHsps including 17.5CI sHsp. These results indicate that HvHsfB2c is co-expressed in the central hub of small Hsps and therefore it may be regulating the expression of several HvsHsp subclasses HvHsp16.88-CI, HvHsp17.5-CI and HvHsp17.7-CI. The in vivo relevance of binding specificity of HvHsfB2C transcription factor to HSE-element present in the promoter of HvSHP17.5-CI under heat stress exposure is confirmed by gel shift and LUC-reporter assays. Further, we isolated 477 bp cDNA from barley encoding a 17.5 sHsp polypeptide, which was predominantly upregulated under drought stress treatments and also preferentially expressed in developing seeds. Recombinant HvsHsp17.5-CI protein was expressed in E. coli and purified to homogeneity, which displayed in vitro chaperone activity. The predicted structural model of HvsHsp-17.5-CI protein suggests that the α-crystallin domain is evolutionarily highly conserved.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Type III effectors are virulence factors of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens delivered directly into host cells by the type III secretion nanomachine where they manipulate host cell processes such as the innate immunity and gene expression. Here, we show that the novel type III effector XopL from the model plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria exhibits E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in vitro and in planta, induces plant cell death and subverts plant immunity. E3 ligase activity is associated with the C-terminal region of XopL, which specifically interacts with plant E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and mediates formation of predominantly K11-linked polyubiquitin chains. The crystal structure of the XopL C-terminal domain revealed a single domain with a novel fold, termed XL-box, not present in any previously characterized E3 ligase. Mutation of amino acids in the central cavity of the XL-box disrupts E3 ligase activity and prevents XopL-induced plant cell death. The lack of cysteine residues in the XL-box suggests the absence of thioester-linked ubiquitin-E3 ligase intermediates and a non-catalytic mechanism for XopL-mediated ubiquitination. The crystal structure of the N-terminal region of XopL confirmed the presence of a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain, which may serve as a protein-protein interaction module for ubiquitination target recognition. While the E3 ligase activity is required to provoke plant cell death, suppression of PAMP responses solely depends on the N-terminal LRR domain. Taken together, the unique structural fold of the E3 ubiquitin ligase domain within the Xanthomonas XopL is unprecedented and highlights the variation in bacterial pathogen effectors mimicking this eukaryote-specific activity.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · PLoS Pathogens
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of pathogen attack or elicitation with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) leads to defense signaling that includes activation of the three mitogen-activated protein kinases (MPKs), MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 in Arabidopsis. Recently, we demonstrated the activation of a fourth MPK, MPK11, after treatment with flg22, a 22 amino acid PAMP derived from bacterial flagellin. Here, we extended the study by examining elicitation with two other PAMPs, elf18 (derived from bacterial elongation factor EF-Tu) and ch8 (N-acetylchitooctaose derived from fungal chitin). Both PAMPs led to rapid MPK11 transcript accumulation and increased MPK11 kinase activity, suggesting that multiple PAMPs (or stresses) can activate MPK11. However, probably due to functional redundancies, bacteria-induced phytoalexin accumulation does not absolutely require MPK11.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Plant signaling & behavior
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenicity of the Gram-negative plant-pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) is dependent on type III effectors (T3Es) that are injected into plant cells by a type III secretion system and interfere with cellular processes to the benefit of the pathogen. In this study, we analyzed eight T3Es from Xcv strain 85-10, six of which were newly identified effectors. Genetic studies and protoplast expression assays revealed that XopB and XopS contribute to disease symptoms and bacterial growth, and suppress pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered plant defense gene expression. In addition, XopB inhibits cell death reactions induced by different T3Es, thus suppressing defense responses related to both PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). XopB localizes to the Golgi apparatus and cytoplasm of the plant cell and interferes with eukaryotic vesicle trafficking. Interestingly, a XopB point mutant derivative was defective in the suppression of ETI-related responses, but still interfered with vesicle trafficking and was only slightly affected with regard to the suppression of defense gene induction. This suggests that XopB-mediated suppression of PTI and ETI is dependent on different mechanisms that can be functionally separated.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · New Phytologist
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    Mieder A T Palm-Forster · Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Justin Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Identification and characterization of protein phosphorylation sites often requires mass spectrometric analysis, which is not trivial or accessible to many laboratories. Here, a targeted strategy to mutagenize putative phosphorylation sites within mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) substrates is described. This employs a combination of standard type II with type IIs restriction enzymes to rapidly create individual or multiple phosphorylation site mutant versions of kinase substrates with high efficiency, thereby reducing the cost for screening mutated clones.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Analytical Biochemistry
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    Lennart Eschen-Lippold · Tilo Lübken · Ulrike Smolka · Sabine Rosahl
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    ABSTRACT: Vesicle fusion processes in plants are important for both development and stress responses. Transgenic potato plants with reduced expression of SYNTAXIN-RELATED1 (StSYR1), a gene encoding the potato homolog of Arabidopsis PENETRATION1 (AtPEN1), display spontaneous necrosis and chlorosis at later stages of development. In accordance with this developmental defect, tuber number, weight and overall yield are significantly reduced in StSYR1-RNAi lines. Enhanced resistance of StSYR1-RNAi plants to Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of late blight disease of potato, correlates with enhanced levels of salicylic acid, whereas levels of 12-oxophytodienoic acid and jasmonic acid are unaltered. Cultured cells of StSYR1-RNAi lines secrete at least two compounds which are not detectable in the supernatant of control cells, suggesting an involvement of StSYR1 in secretion processes to the apoplast.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Plant signaling & behavior