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Salicylic Acid and Jasmonic Acid Are Essential for Systemic Resistance Against Tobacco mosaic virus in Nicotiana benthamiana

June 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  6
Pages  567 - 577

Feng Zhu,1 De-Hui Xi,1 Shu Yuan,1 Fei Xu,1 Da-Wei Zhang,1 and Hong-Hui Lin1,2

1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment, College of Life Science, and 2State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

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Accepted 14 January 2014.

Systemic resistance is induced by pathogens and confers protection against a broad range of pathogens. Recent studies have indicated that salicylic acid (SA) derivative methyl salicylate (MeSA) serves as a long-distance phloem-mobile systemic resistance signal in tobacco, Arabidopsis, and potato. However, other experiments indicate that jasmonic acid (JA) is a critical mobile signal. Here, we present evidence suggesting both MeSA and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) are essential for systemic resistance against Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), possibly acting as the initiating signals for systemic resistance. Foliar application of JA followed by SA triggered the strongest systemic resistance against TMV. Furthermore, we use a virus-induced gene-silencing–based genetics approach to investigate the function of JA and SA biosynthesis or signaling genes in systemic response against TMV infection. Silencing of SA or JA biosynthetic and signaling genes in Nicotiana benthamiana plants increased susceptibility to TMV. Genetic experiments also proved the irreplaceable roles of MeSA and MeJA in systemic resistance response. Systemic resistance was compromised when SA methyl transferase or JA carboxyl methyltransferase, which are required for MeSA and MeJA formation, respectively, were silenced. Moreover, high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis indicated that JA and MeJA accumulated in phloem exudates of leaves at early stages and SA and MeSA accumulated at later stages, after TMV infection. Our data also indicated that JA and MeJA could regulate MeSA and SA production. Taken together, our results demonstrate that (Me)JA and (Me)SA are required for systemic resistance response against TMV.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society