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A new molecule discovered in the battle between plants and disease

Pep1, and a function was sought in Arabidopsis by incubating plants under a variety of conditions and monitoring expression of the proAtPep1 gene. Cold and dehydration stress and exposure to ABA or MeSA did not affect the expression of proAtPep1, but wounding, exposing plants to methyl jasmonate (MeJA), or supplying plants with the AtPep1 peptide through cut petioles induced expression of the gene. Also expressed in response to AtPep1 were the PDF1.2 gene (a plant defensin) and the PR-1 gene, (a pathogenesis-related gene). Two wound-related genes, LOX2 and VSP2, were not induced by AtPep1. Supplying AtPep1 to jasmonate-deficient fad3-2 fad7-2 fad8 mutant plants did not induce the proAtPep1, PDF1.2 or PR-1 genes, indicating that AtPep1 signaling involves the octadecanoid pathway. AtPep1 induction of defense genes in excised Arabidopsis leaves was inhibited by DPI, implicating the generation of H2O2 in the signaling pathway. Constitutively overexpressing the proAtPep1 gene in Arabidopsis induced a constitutive activation of PDF1.2, PR-1, and tyrosine amino transferase (TAT3) genes, but not the expression of LOX2 or VSP2 genes. The transgenic plants were more resistant toward the oomycete root pathogen Pythium irregulare than wild-type plants, evidenced by a more robust leaf and root growth upon infection. ProAtPep1 belongs to a seven member gene family in Arabidopsis with tissue-specific paralogs that exhibit differential expression profiles. Orthologs of the proAtPep1 gene have been identified in important crop species including canola, soybean, potato, tomato, rice and poplar.


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Source:American Society of Plant Biologists


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