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Mol Plant Pathol. 2010 Jul;11(4):545-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2010.00628.x.

Flavonoid accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana root galls caused by the obligate biotrophic pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae.

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Institute of Botany, Technische Universität Dresden, Zellescher Weg 20b, D-01062 Dresden, Germany.


Three different flavonoids-naringenin, quercetin and kaempferol-accumulate in root galls of Arabidopsis thaliana after infection with the obligate biotrophic pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae. In addition, high-performance liquid chromatography and thin layer chromatography analysis indicated that these flavonoids and their glycosides were induced in galls rather than in healthy roots. The transcripts of selected genes involved in the biosynthesis of flavonoids were up-regulated during the time course of the disease. Some, such as chalcone synthase and chalcone isomerase, were up-regulated at both times investigated in this study, whereas up-regulation was observed only at later times for others, such as a flavonol synthase-like gene. Plants with mutations in different flavonoid biosynthesis genes were slightly more tolerant to clubroot at low infection pressure. However, flavonoid treatment of either leaves or roots did not reduce gall development. The possibility that flavonoids might influence auxin levels by regulating auxin transport or auxin degradation in roots was investigated by measuring auxin levels and response in roots of flavonoid-deficient mutants and the wild-type after inoculation with P. brassicae, as well as the antioxidative potential of flavonoids in the peroxidase-catalysed degradation of indole-3-acetic acid. In addition, the auxin transport rate from the shoots to the roots was measured in infected wild-type or flavonoid mutant plants compared with controls. In conclusion, our results indicate a role of flavonoids in the modulation of auxin efflux in root galls.

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