Alexis A. Sparks,3 and
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, U.S.A.; 2Department of Plant Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, India; 3Kansas Lipidomics Research Center, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, U.S.A.
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Accepted 20 March 2010.
Fusarium graminearum is the principal causative agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease of wheat and barley. This fungus can also colonize Arabidopsis thaliana. Disease resistance was enhanced in transgenic wheat and Arabidopsis plants that constitutively overexpress the NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES 1 (NPR1) gene, which regulates salicylic acid (SA) signaling and modulates the activation of jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent defenses. Here, we provide several lines of evidence that reveal an important role for SA and JA signaling in Arabidopsis defense against F. graminearum. SA level was elevated in fungus-inoculated leaves, and SA application and biologically activated systemic acquired resistance enhanced resistance. Furthermore, the disruption of SA accumulation and signaling in the sid2 mutant and NahG transgenic plant, and the npr1 and wrky18 mutants, respectively, resulted in heightened susceptibility to this fungus in leaves and inflorescence. JA signaling was activated in parallel with SA signaling in the fungus-challenged plants. However, the hyperresistance of the JA pathway mutants opr3, coi1, and jar1 indicates that this pathway contributes to susceptibility. Genetic and biochemical experiments indicate that the JA pathway promotes disease by attenuating the activation of SA signaling in fungus-inoculated plants. However, the hypersusceptibility of the jar1 npr1 double mutant compared with the npr1 mutant suggests that JAR1 also contributes to defense, signifying a dichotomous role of JA and a JAR1-dependent mechanism in this interaction.
© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society