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FEBS Lett. 1994 May 23;345(1):9-13.

The Pseudomonas phytotoxin coronatine mimics octadecanoid signalling molecules of higher plants.

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Lehrstuhl für Pflanzenphysiologie, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, Germany.

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  • FEBS Lett 1994 Aug 1;349(2):317.


The phytotoxic principle, coronatine, which is present in several pathovars of the plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae was shown to be highly active in completely different, jasmonate-selective bioassays. At nanomolar to micromolar concentrations, coronatine induced the accumulation of defense-related secondary metabolites in several plant cell cultures, induced transcript accumulation of the elicitor-responsive gene encoding the berberine bridge enzyme of Eschscholtzia californica, as well as the coiling response of Bryonia dioica tendrils. Biological activity critically depended upon the structure of coronatine, and slight modifications, such as methylation of the carboxyl moiety or reduction of the carbonyl group, rendered the molecules almost inactive. Coronafacic acid, obtained by hydrolysis of coronatine, was also nearly inactive. Coronatine did not elicit the accumulation of endogenous jasmonic acid in the systems analyzed. While coronafacic acid is similar in structure to jasmonic acid, we found coronatine to be a close structural analogue of the cyclic C18-precursor of jasmonic acid, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid. The phytotoxic symptoms produced by coronatine can now be understood on the basis of the toxin's action as a mimic of the octadecanoid signalling molecules of higher plants.

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