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Plant J. 2001 Jan;25(2):149-57.

Probenazole induces systemic acquired resistance in Arabidopsis with a novel type of action.

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Microbial Toxicology Laboratory, RIKEN Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan.


Probenazole (PBZ; 3-allyloxy-1,2-benzisothiazole-1,1-dioxide), which is the active ingredient in Oryzemate, has been used widely in Asia to protect rice plants against the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. To study PBZ's mode of action, we analyzed its ability, as well as that of its active metabolite 1, 2-benzisothiazol-3 (2H)-one 1,1-dioxide (BIT) to induce defense gene expression and resistance in Arabidopsis mutants that are defective in various defense signaling pathways. Wild-type Arabidopsis treated with PBZ or BIT exhibited increased expression of several pathogenesis-related genes, increased levels of total salicylic acid (SA), and enhanced resistance to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC 3000 and the oomycete pathogen Peronospora parasitica Emco5. The role of several defense signaling hormones, such as SA, ethylene and jasmonic acid (JA), in activating resistance following PBZ or BIT treatment was analyzed using NahG transgenic plants and etr1-1 and coi1-1 mutant plants, respectively. In addition, the involvement of NPR1, a key component in the SA signaling pathway leading to defense responses, was assessed. PBZ or BIT treatment did not induce disease resistance or PR-1 expression in NahG transgenic or npr1 mutant plants, but it did activate these phenomena in etr1-1 and coi 1-1 mutant plants. Thus SA and NPR1 appear to be required for PBZ- and BIT-mediated activation of defense responses, while ethylene and JA are not. Furthermore, our data suggest that PBZ and BIT comprise a novel class of defense activators that stimulate the SA/NPR1-mediated defense signaling pathway upstream of SA.

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