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Arabidopsis thaliana FLOWERING LOCUS D Is Required for Systemic Acquired Resistance

September 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  9
Pages  1,079 - 1,088

Vijayata Singh,1 Shweta Roy,1 Mrunmay Kumar Giri,1 Ratnesh Chaturvedi,2 Zulkarnain Chowdhury,2 Jyoti Shah,2 and Ashis Kumar Nandi1

1School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -110067, India; 2Department of Biological Sciences and Signaling Mechanisms in Plants Cluster, University of North Texas, Denton 76203, U.S.A.

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Accepted 23 May 2013.

Localized infection in plants often induces systemic acquired resistance (SAR), which provides long-term protection against subsequent infections. A signal originating in the SAR-inducing organ is transported to the distal organs, where it stimulates salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and priming, a mechanism that results in more robust activation of defenses in response to subsequent pathogen infection. In recent years, several metabolites that promote long-distance SAR signaling have been identified. However, the mechanism or mechanisms by which plants perceive and respond to the SAR signals are largely obscure. Here, we show that, in Arabidopsis thaliana, the FLOWERING LOCUS D (FLD) is required for responding to the SAR signals leading to the systemic accumulation of SA and enhancement of disease resistance. Although the fld mutant was competent in accumulating the SAR-inducing signal, it was unable to respond to the SAR signal that accumulates in petiole exudates of wild-type leaves inoculated with a SAR-inducing pathogen. Supporting FLD's role in systemic SAR signaling, we observed that dehydroabietinal and azelaic acid, two metabolites that, in wild-type plants, promote SAR-associated systemic accumulation of SA and priming, respectively, were unable to promote SAR in the fld mutant. FLD also participates in flowering, where it functions to repress expression of the flowering repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). However, epistasis analysis indicates that FLD's function in SAR is independent of FLC.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society