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Plant J. 2000 Nov;24(4):467-76.

Fatty acid ketodienes and fatty acid ketotrienes: Michael addition acceptors that accumulate in wounded and diseased Arabidopsis leaves.

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Plant Biology, University of Lausanne, Biology Building, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Physical damage and disease are known to lead to changes in the oxylipin signature of plants. We searched for oxylipins produced in response to both wounding and pathogenesis in Arabidopsis leaves. Linoleic acid 9- and 13-ketodienes (KODEs) were found to accumulate in wounded leaves as well as in leaves infected with the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst). Quantification of the compounds showed that they accumulated to higher levels during the hypersensitive response to Pst avrRpm1 than during infection with a Pst strain lacking an avirulence gene. KODEs are Michael addition acceptors, containing a chemically reactive alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl group. When infiltrated into leaves, KODEs were found to induce expression of the GST1 gene, but vital staining indicated that these compounds also damaged plant cells. Several molecules typical of lipid oxidation, including malonaldehyde, also contain the alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl reactivity feature, and, when delivered in a volatile form, powerfully induced the expression of GST1. The results draw attention to the potential physiological importance of naturally occurring Michael addition acceptors in plants. In particular, these compounds could act directly, or indirectly via cell damage, as powerful gene activators and might also contribute to host cell death.

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