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Plant Mol Biol. 2016 Dec;92(6):643-659. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

A Chinese cabbage (Brassica campetris subsp. Chinensis) τ-type glutathione-S-transferase stimulates Arabidopsis development and primes against abiotic and biotic stress.

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Institute of Plant Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Institute of Plant Physiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany.
Xinzhou Teachers College, Shanxi, China.
Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, 07745, Jena, Germany.
Institute of Plant Physiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany.


The beneficial root-colonizing fungus Piriformospora indica stimulates root development of Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris subsp. Chinensis) and this is accompanied by the up-regulation of a τ-class glutathione (GSH)-S-transferase gene (BcGSTU) (Lee et al. 2011) in the roots. BcGSTU expression is further promoted by osmotic (salt and PEG) and heat stress. Ectopic expression of BcGSTU in Arabidopsis under the control of the 35S promoter results in the promotion of root and shoot growth as well as better performance of the plants under abiotic (150 mM NaCl, PEG, 42 °C) and biotic (Alternaria brassicae infection) stresses. Higher levels of glutathione, auxin and stress-related (salicylic and jasmonic acid) phytohormones as well as changes in the gene expression profile result in better performance of the BcGSTU expressors upon exposure to stress. Simultaneously the plants are primed against upcoming stresses. We propose that BcGSTU is a target of P. indica in Chinese cabbage roots because the enzyme participates in balancing growth and stress responses, depending on the equilibrium of the symbiotic interaction. A comparable function of BcGST in transgenic Arabidopsis makes the enzyme a valuable tool for agricultural applications.


Abiotic stress; Biotic stress; Chinese cabbage; GSTU; Piriformospora indica; Priming; Resistance; Root development

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