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Interacting Signal Pathways Control Defense Gene Expression in Arabidopsis in Response to Cell Wall-Degrading Enzymes from Erwinia carotovora

April 2000 , Volume 13 , Number  4
Pages  430 - 438

Cecilia Norman-Setterblad , 1 Sabina Vidal , 1 and E. Tapio Palva 2 , 3

1Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7080, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; 2Department of Biosciences, Division of Genetics, Box 56, Helsinki, FIN-00014 Finland; 3Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Box 56, Helsinki, FIN-00014 Finland

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Accepted 28 December 1999.

We have characterized the role of salicylic acid (SA)-independent defense signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora. Use of pathway-specific target genes as well as signal mutants allowed us to elucidate the role and interactions of ethylene, jasmonic acid (JA), and SA signal pathways in this response. Gene expression studies suggest a central role for both ethylene and JA pathways in the regulation of defense gene expression triggered by the pathogen or by plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (CF) secreted by the pathogen. Our results suggest that ethylene and JA act in concert in this regulation. In addition, CF triggers another, strictly JA-mediated response inhibited by ethylene and SA. SA does not appear to have a major role in activating defense gene expression in response to CF. However, SA may have a dual role in controlling CF-induced gene expression, by enhancing the expression of genes synergistically induced by ethylene and JA and repressing genes induced by JA alone.

Additional keywords: elicitors, soft rot.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society