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Nitric Oxide Participates in the Complex Interplay of Defense-Related Signaling Pathways Controlling Disease Resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Arabidopsis thaliana

July 2010 , Volume 23 , Number  7
Pages  846 - 860

Laure Perchepied,1 Claudine Balagué,1 Catherine Riou,1 Clotilde Claudel-Renard,2 Nathalie Rivière,3 Bruno Grezes-Besset,2 and Dominique Roby1

1Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes-Microorganismes (LIPM), UMR CNRS-INRA 2594/441, BP 52627, 31320 Castanet-Tolosan cedex, France; 2Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, BIOGEMMA, Domaine de Sandreau, Mondonville, France; 3Upstream Genomics Research Group, Transcriptomics Team, BIOGEMMA, Z.I. du Brezet, 8, Rue des Frères Lumière, 63028 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 2, France

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Accepted 10 March 2010.

Studies of the interaction between Arabidopsis thaliana and the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum have been hampered by the extreme susceptibility of this model plant to the fungus. In addition, analyses of the plant defense response suggested the implication of a complex interplay of hormonal and signaling pathways. To get a deeper insight into this host-pathogen interaction, we first analyzed the natural variation in Arabidopsis for resistance to S. sclerotiorum. The results revealed a large variation of resistance and susceptibility in Arabidopsis, with some ecotypes, such as Ws-4, Col-0, and Rbz-1, being strongly resistant, and others, such as Shahdara, Ita-0, and Cvi-0, exhibiting an extreme susceptibility. The role of different signaling pathways in resistance was then determined by assessing the symptoms of mutants affected in the perception, production, or transduction of hormonal signals after inoculation with S. sclerotiorum. This analysis led to the conclusions that i) signaling of inducible defenses is predominantly mediated by jasmonic acid and abscisic acid, influenced by ethylene, and independent of salicylic acid; and ii) nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species are important signals required for plant resistance to S. sclerotiorum. Defense gene expression analysis supported the specific role of NO in defense activation.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society