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Physiol Plant. 2009 Apr;135(4):351-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2009.01204.x. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Role of polyisoprenoids in tobacco resistance against biotic stresses.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


Infection with avirulent pathogens, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) or Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci induced accumulation of polyisoprenoid alcohols, solanesol and a family of polyprenols [from polyprenol composed of 14 isoprene units (Pren-14) to -18, with Pren-16 dominating] in the leaves of resistant tobacco plants Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun NN. Upon TMV infection, solanesol content was increased seven- and eight-fold in the inoculated and upper leaves, respectively, while polyprenol content was increased 2.5- and 2-fold in the inoculated and upper leaves, respectively, on the seventh day post-infection. Accumulation of polyisoprenoid alcohols was also stimulated by exogenously applied hydrogen peroxide but not by exogenous salicylic acid (SA). On the contrary, neither inoculation of the leaves of susceptible tobacco plants nor wounding of tobacco leaves caused an increase in polyisoprenoid content. Taken together, these results indicate that polyisoprenoid alcohols might be involved in plant resistance against pathogens. A putative role of accumulated polyisoprenoids in plant response to pathogen attack is discussed. Similarly, the content of plastoquinone (PQ) was increased two-fold in TMV-inoculated and upper leaves of resistant plants. Accumulation of PQ was also stimulated by hydrogen peroxide, bacteria (P. syringae) and SA. The role of PQ in antioxidant defense in cellular membranous compartments is discussed in the context of the enzymatic antioxidant machinery activated in tobacco leaves subjected to viral infection. Elevated activity of several antioxidant enzymes (ascorbate peroxidase, guaiacol peroxidase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase, especially the CuZn superoxide dismutase isoform) and high, but transient elevation of catalase was found in inoculated leaves of resistant tobacco plants but not in susceptible plants.

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