A. C. Smigocki and
J. C. Baker
First author: Plant Protection Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1022 Herman O. 15. Budapest, Hungary; and second and third authors: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705.
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Accepted for publication 15 July 2008.
Responses of cytokinin overproducing transgenic Nicotiana plants to infections with compatible and incompatible Pseudomonas syringae pathovars were compared. Plants used were transformed with the ipt(isopentenyl transferase) gene that catalyzes the synthesis of cytokinin. In cytokinin overproducing lines that carry the ipt gene fused to the CaMV 35S (Nt+ipt), the wound-inducible proteinase inhibitor II (Ntx+ipt), or the light-inducible Rubisco small subunit protein (Npl+ipt) promoter, development of the hypersensitive response (HR) after infection with incompatible bacteria (P. syringae pv. tomato) was significantly inhibited as compared to the untransformed (Nt) controls. Over a 12 h period following inoculation, P. syrinage pv. tomato populations were slightly reduced in leaves of the cytokinin-overproducing Nt-ipt line compared with the Nt control. When the compatible P. syringae. pv. tabaci was used to infect the ipt transformed lines, slight or no significant differences in necrosis development were observed. Following infection, the titer of P. syringae pv. tabaci increased rapidly in both the transgenic and control lines but was higher in Nt+ipt plants. Leaf superoxide dismutase and catalase enzyme activities were about 60% higher in ipt leaf extracts than in the controls. This augmented antioxidant capacity likely decreased the amount of H2O2 that may be associated with the higher tolerance of plants to pathogen-induced necrosis. In addition, the Nt+ipt lines had a significantly lower molar ratio of free sterols to phospholipids. The more stable membrane lipid composition and the higher antioxidant capacity likely contributed to the suppressed HR symptoms in the cytokinin overproducing Nt+ipt plants. In conclusion, the overproduction of cytokinins in tobacco appears to suppress the HR symptoms induced by incompatible bacteria.
Additional keywords:antioxidants, membrane lipids, oxidative burst.
© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society