Kazuyuki Kuchitsu,2 and
1Plant-Microbe Interactions Research Unit, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan; 2Department of Applied Biological Science, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba 278-8510, Japan; 3International Young Researchers Empowerment Center, Shinshu University, Minamiminowa, Nagano 399-4598, Japan; 4National institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
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Accepted 11 February 2013.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are universal signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells. In tobacco, two MAPK, wound-induced protein kinase (WIPK) and salicylic acid (SA)-induced protein kinase (SIPK), are activated by biotic and abiotic stresses. Both WIPK and SIPK positively regulate the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) or ethylene (ET) while negatively regulating SA accumulation. We showed previously that recombinant tobacco MAPK phosphatase (NtMKP1) protein dephosphorylates and inactivates SIPK in vitro, and overexpression of NtMKP1 repressed wound-induced activation of both SIPK and WIPK. To elucidate the role of NtMKP1 in response to biotic and abiotic stresses, we generated transgenic tobacco plants in which NtMKP1 expression was suppressed. Suppression of NtMKP1 expression resulted in enhanced activation of WIPK and SIPK and production of both JA and ET upon wounding. Wound-induced expression of JA- or ET-inducible genes, basic PR-1 and PI-II, was also significantly enhanced in these plants. Furthermore, NtMKP1-suppressed plants exhibited enhanced resistance against a necrotrophic pathogen, Botrytis cinerea, and lepidopteran herbivores, Mamestra brassicae and Spodoptera litura. These results suggest that NtMKP1 negatively regulates wound response and resistance against both necrotrophic pathogens and herbivorous insects through suppression of JA or ET pathways via inactivation of MAPK.
© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society