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Plant Physiol. 2013 Nov;163(3):1242-53. doi: 10.1104/pp.113.222802. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Disarming the jasmonate-dependent plant defense makes nonhost Arabidopsis plants accessible to the American serpentine leafminer.

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  • 1Experimental Plant Division, RIKEN BioResource Center, Tsukuba 305-0074, Japan.


Here, we analyzed the interaction between Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the American serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii), an important and intractable herbivore of many cultivated plants. We examined the role of the immunity-related plant hormone jasmonate (JA) in the plant response and resistance to leafminer feeding to determine whether JA affects host suitability for leafminers. The expression of marker genes for the JA-dependent plant defense was induced by leafminer feeding on Arabidopsis wild-type plants. Analyses of JA-insensitive coi1-1 mutants suggested the importance of JA in the plant response to leafminer feeding. The JA content of wild-type plants significantly increased after leafminer feeding. Moreover, coi1-1 mutants showed lower feeding resistance against leafminer attack than did wild-type plants. The number of feeding scars caused by inoculated adult leafminers in JA-insensitive coi1-1 mutants was higher than that in wild-type plants. In addition, adults of the following generation appeared only from coi1-1 mutants and not from wild-type plants, suggesting that the loss of the JA-dependent plant defense converted nonhost plants to accessible host plants. Interestingly, the glucosinolate-myrosinase defense system may play at most a minor role in this conversion, indicating that this major antiherbivore defense of Brassica species plants probably does not have a major function in plant resistance to leafminer. Application of JA to wild-type plants before leafminer feeding enhanced feeding resistance in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and garland chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coronarium). Our results indicate that JA plays an important role in the plant response and resistance to leafminers and, in so doing, affects host plant suitability for leafminers.

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