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Plant Mol Biol. 2012 May;79(1-2):89-99. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9896-z. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Coupling calcium/calmodulin-mediated signaling and herbivore-induced plant response through calmodulin-binding transcription factor AtSR1/CAMTA3.

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Molecular Plant Science, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414, USA.


Calcium/calmodulin (Ca(2+)/CaM) has long been considered a crucial component in wound signaling pathway. However, very few Ca(2+)/CaM-binding proteins have been identified which regulate plant responses to herbivore attack/wounding stress. We have reported earlier that a family of Ca(2+)/CaM-binding transcription factors designated as AtSRs (also known as AtCAMTAs) can respond differentially to wounding stress. Further studies revealed that AtSR1/CAMTA3 is a negative regulator of plant defense, and Ca(2+)/CaM-binding to AtSR1 is indispensable for the suppression of salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and disease resistance. Here we report that Ca(2+)/CaM-binding is also critical for AtSR1-mediated herbivore-induced wound response. Interestingly, atsr1 mutant plants are more susceptible to herbivore attack than wild-type plants. Complementation of atsr1 mutant plants by overexpressing wild-type AtSR1 protein can effectively restore plant resistance to herbivore attack. However, when mutants of AtSR1 with impaired CaM-binding ability were overexpressed in atsr1 mutant plants, plant resistance to herbivore attack was not restored, suggesting a key role for Ca(2+)/CaM-binding in wound signaling. Furthermore, it was observed that elevated SA levels in atsr1 mutant plants have a negative impact on both basal and induced biosynthesis of jasmonates (JA). These results revealed that Ca(2+)/CaM-mediated signaling regulates plant response to herbivore attack/wounding by modulating the SA-JA crosstalk through AtSR1.

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