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Restoration of Defective Cross Talk in ssi2 Mutants: Role of Salicylic Acid, Jasmonic Acid, and Fatty Acids in SSI2-Mediated Signaling

November 2003 , Volume 16 , Number  11
Pages  1,022 - 1,029

Pradeep Kachroo , 1 , 2 Aardra Kachroo , 1 Ludmila Lapchyk , 1 David Hildebrand , 3 and Daniel F. Klessig 2

1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546, U.S.A.; 2Boyce Thompson Institute, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853, U.S.A.; 3Department of Agronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546, U.S.A.


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Accepted 19 June 2003.

The Arabidopsis mutants ssi2 and fab2 are defective in stearoyl ACP desaturase, which causes altered salicylic acid (SA)- and jasmonic acid (JA)-mediated defense signaling. Both ssi2 and fab2 plants show spontaneous cell death, express PR genes constitutively, accumulate high levels of SA, and exhibit enhanced resistance to bacterial and oomycete pathogens. In contrast to constitutive activation of the SA pathway, ssi2 and fab2 plants are repressed in JA-mediated induction of the PDF1.2 gene, which suggests that the SSI2-mediated signaling pathway modulates cross talk between the SA and JA pathways. In this study, we have characterized two recessive nonallelic mutants in the ssi2 background, designated as rdc (restorer of defective cross talk) 2 and rdc8. Both ssi2 rdc mutants are suppressed in constitutive SA signaling, show basal level expression of PR-1 gene, and induce high levels of PDF1.2 in response to exogenous application of JA. Interestingly, while the rdc8 mutation completely abolishes spontaneous cell death in ssi2 rdc8 plants, the ssi2 rdc2 plants continue to show some albeit reduced cell death. Fatty acid (FA) analysis showed a reduction in 16:3 levels in ssi2 rdc8 plants, which suggests that this mutation may limit the flux of FAs into the pro-karyotic pathway of glycerolipid biosynthesis. Both rdc2 and rdc8 continue to accumulate high levels of 18:0, which suggests that 18:0 levels were responsible for neither constitutive SA signaling nor repression of JA-induced expression of the PDF1.2 gene in ssi2 plants. We also analyzed SA and JA responses of the fab2-derived shs1 mutant, which accumulates levels of 18:0 over 50% lower than those in the fab2 plants. Even though fab2 shs1 plants were morphologically bigger than fab2 plants, they expressed PR genes constitutively, showed HR-like cell death, and accumulated elevated levels of SA. However, unlike the ssi2 rdc plants, fab2 shs1 plants were unable to induce high levels of PDF1.2 expression in response to exogenous application of JA. Together, these results show that defective cross talk in ssi2 can be restored by second site mutations and is independent of morphological size of the plants, cell death, and elevated levels of 18:0.



© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society