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Plant J. 2008 Aug;55(4):555-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03540.x. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

Wounding of Arabidopsis leaves causes a powerful but transient protection against Botrytis infection.

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Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, 10 Chemin du Musée, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.


Physical injury inflicted on living tissue makes it vulnerable to invasion by pathogens. Wounding of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves, however, does not conform to this concept and leads to immunity to Botrytis cinerea, the causal agent of grey mould. In wounded leaves, hyphal growth was strongly inhibited compared to unwounded controls. Wound-induced resistance was not associated with salicylic acid-, jasmonic acid- or ethylene-dependent defence responses. The phytoalexin camalexin was found to be involved in this defence response as camalexin-deficient mutants were not protected after wounding and the B. cinerea strains used here were sensitive to this compound. Wounding alone did not lead to camalexin production but primed its accumulation after inoculation with B. cinerea, further supporting the role of camalexin in wound-induced resistance. In parallel with increased camalexin production, genes involved in the biosynthesis of camalexin were induced faster in wounded and infected plants in comparison with unwounded and infected plants. Glutathione was also found to be required for resistance, as mutants deficient in gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase showed susceptibility to B. cinerea after wounding, indicating that wild-type basal levels of glutathione are required for the wound-induced resistance. Furthermore, expression of the gene encoding glutathione-S-transferase 1 was primed by wounding in leaves inoculated with B. cinerea. In addition, the priming of MAP kinase activity was observed after inoculation of wounded leaves with B. cinerea compared to unwounded inoculated controls. Our results demonstrate how abiotic stress can induce immunity to virulent strains of B. cinerea, a process that involves camalexin and glutathione.

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