School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, U.K.
In Arabidopsis spp., the jasmonate (JA) response pathway generally is required for defenses against necrotrophic pathogens and chewing insects, while the salicylic acid (SA) response pathway is generally required for specific, resistance (R) gene-mediated defenses against both biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens. For example, SA-dependent defenses are required for resistance to the biotrophic fungal pathogen Erysiphe cichoracearum UCSC1 and the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola, and also are expressed during response to the green peach aphid Myzus persicae. However, recent evidence indicates that the expression of JA-dependent defenses also may confer resistance to E. cichoracearum. To confirm and to extend this observation, we have compared the disease and pest resistance of wild-type Arabidopsis plants with that of the mutants coi1, which is insensitive to JA, and cev1, which has constitutive JA signaling. Measurements of the colonization of these plants by E. cichoracearum, P. syringae pv. maculicola, and M. persicae indicated that activation of the JA signal pathway enhanced resistance, and was associated with the activation of JA-dependent defense genes and the suppression of SA-dependent defense genes. We conclude that JA and SA induce alternative defense pathways that can confer resistance to the same pathogens and pests.