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Planta. 2009 Mar;229(4):965-76. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-0890-x. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

The jasmonate signaling pathway in tomato regulates susceptibility to a toxin-dependent necrotrophic pathogen.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori, 680-8553, Japan.


The plant hormone, jasmonic acid (JA), is known to have a critical role in both resistance and susceptibility against bacterial and fungal pathogen attack. However, little is known about the involvement of JA in the interactions between plants and toxigenic necrotrophic fungal pathogens. Using the tomato pathotype of Alternaria alternata (Aa) and its AAL-toxin/tomato interaction as a model system, we demonstrate a possible role for JA in susceptibility of plants against pathogens, which utilize host-specific toxins as virulence effectors. Disease development and in planta growth of the tomato pathotype of Aa were decreased in the def1 mutant, defective in biosynthesis of JA, compared with the wild-type (WT) cultivar. Exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) application restored pathogen disease symptoms to the def1 mutant and led to increased disease in the WT. On the other hand, necrotic cell death was similarly induced by AAL-toxin both on def1 and WT, and MeJA application to the tomatoes did not affect the degree of cell death by the toxin. These results indicate that the JA-dependent signaling pathway is not involved in host basal defense responses against the tomato pathotype of Aa, but rather might affect pathogen acceptability via a toxin-independent manner. Data further suggest that JA has a promotional effect on susceptibility of tomato to toxigenic and necrotrophic pathogens, such that pathogens might utilize the JA signaling pathway for successful infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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