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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 Nov;3(11):945-53.

The cell death factor, cell wall elicitor of rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe grisea) causes metabolic alterations including GABA shunt in rice cultured cells.

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Iwate Biotechnology Research Center; Narita; Kitakami, Iwate Japan.


An elicitor derived from the cell wall of rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe grisea) causes cell death in suspension cultured cells of rice (Oryza sativa L.). To elucidate the role of M. grisea elicitor on metabolic pathway of rice cells, we performed metabolite profiling using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE/MS). Treatment with M. grisea elicitor increased the amounts of antioxidants and free amino acids and decreased the amount of metabolites in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Lower ATP concentration caused aberrant energy charge, concurrently with reduced amount of NAD(P)H in elicitor treated cells. Among free amino acids detected in this study, the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) increased. GABA is metabolized through a bypass pathway of the TCA cycle called GABA shunt, which is composed of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), GABA transaminase (GABA-T) and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH). While M. grisea elicitor negligibly affected GAD and SSADH, GABA-T activity significantly decreased. The decrease in GABA-T activity was recovered by NADPH oxidase inhibitor, which prevents cell death induced by M. grisea elicitor. Thus, GABA accumulation observed in rice cells under elicitor stress is partly associated with GABA-T activity.


GABA transaminase; Magnaporthe grisea; Oryza sativa; capillary electrophoresis; gamma-aminobutyric acid; mass spectrometry; metabolome


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