Biotech Center, Rutgers University, Foran Hall, Cook College, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
Salicylic acid (SA) is a key regulatory component of disease resistance in plants. In tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-inoculated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi-nc NN genotype), newly synthesized SA is converted primarily to SA 2-O-β-D-glucoside (SAG) and glucosyl salicylate (GS), a relatively minor metabolite. Similar patterns in the formation of GS and SAG were observed in tobacco inoculated with Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, suggesting the accumulation of two glucosylated metabolites is a general phenomenon in tobacco plants. After SA infiltration, GS was synthesized rapidly, reached a maximal level at 6 h, declined, and remained relatively constant for at least 24 h. In contrast, SAG content increased gradually after SA treatment. Our in vitro and in vivo data suggest that a high concentration of free SA triggers transient formation of GS and continuous accumulation of SAG, which is a more stable metabolite of SA. The two distinct SA glucosyltransferases catalyzed the formation of GS and SAG, respectively. The activities of these enzymes were enhanced by TMV or P. syringae pv. phaseolicola inoculation or SA treatment and were found in different fractions of gel filtration chromatography.