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New Phytol. 2008;180(2):511-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02578.x. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

Transcription factor MYC2 is involved in priming for enhanced defense during rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, PO Box 800.56, 3508 TB, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Upon appropriate stimulation, plants can develop an enhanced capacity to express infection-induced cellular defense responses, a phenomenon known as the primed state. Colonization of the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana by the beneficial rhizobacterial strain Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r primes the leaf tissue for enhanced pathogen- and insect-induced expression of jasmonate (JA)-responsive genes, resulting in an induced systemic resistance (ISR) that is effective against different types of pathogens and insect herbivores. Here the molecular mechanism of this rhizobacteria-induced priming response was investigated using a whole-genome transcript profiling approach. Out of the 1879 putative methyl jasmonate (MeJA)-responsive genes, 442 genes displayed a primed expression pattern in ISR-expressing plants. Promoter analysis of ISR-primed, MeJA-responsive genes and ISR-primed, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000)-responsive genes revealed over-representation of the G-box-like motif 5'-CACATG-3'. This motif is a binding site for the transcription factor MYC2, which plays a central role in JA- and abscisic acid-regulated signaling. MYC2 expression was consistently up-regulated in ISR-expressing plants. Moreover, mutants impaired in the JASMONATE-INSENSITIVE1/MYC2 gene (jin1-1 and jin1-2) were unable to mount WCS417r-ISR against Pst DC3000 and the downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora parasitica. Together, these results pinpoint MYC2 as a potential regulator in priming for enhanced JA-responsive gene expression during rhizobacteria-mediated ISR.

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