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Nat Chem Biol. 2014 Jun;10(6):450-6. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1520. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Plant perception of β-aminobutyric acid is mediated by an aspartyl-tRNA synthetase.

Author information

1
1] Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. [2] Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK.
2
Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
3
1] Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK. [2].
4
1] Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. [2] School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
5
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
6
Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
7
Departmento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio Ambiente, University of Jaume I, Castellon, Spain.
8
1] Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. [2] Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK. [3] Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Specific chemicals can prime the plant immune system for augmented defense. β-aminobutyric acid (BABA) is a priming agent that provides broad-spectrum disease protection. However, BABA also suppresses plant growth when applied in high doses, which has hampered its application as a crop defense activator. Here we describe a mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana that is impaired in BABA-induced disease immunity (ibi1) but is hypersensitive to BABA-induced growth repression. IBI1 encodes an aspartyl-tRNA synthetase. Enantiomer-specific binding of the R enantiomer of BABA to IBI1 primed the protein for noncanonical defense signaling in the cytoplasm after pathogen attack. This priming was associated with aspartic acid accumulation and tRNA-induced phosphorylation of translation initiation factor eIF2α. However, mutation of eIF2α-phosphorylating GCN2 kinase did not affect BABA-induced immunity but relieved BABA-induced growth repression. Hence, BABA-activated IBI1 controls plant immunity and growth via separate pathways. Our results open new opportunities to separate broad-spectrum disease resistance from the associated costs on plant growth.

PMID:
24776930
PMCID:
PMC4028204
DOI:
10.1038/nchembio.1520
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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