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Exogenous Trehalose Induces Defenses in Wheat Before and During a Biotic Stress Caused by Powdery Mildew

March 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  3
Pages  293 - 305

Christine Tayeh, Béatrice Randoux, Dorothée Vincent, Natacha Bourdon, and Philippe Reignault

First, second, fourth, and fifth authors: Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant, GIS PhyNoPi, C.S. 80699, F-62228, Calais cedex, France; All authors: Université Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France; and third author: Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences, F-62930 Wimereux, France, and CNRS UMR 8187, F-62930, France.

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Accepted for publication 12 September 2013.

Powdery mildew would be one of the most damaging wheat diseases without the extensive use of conventional fungicides. Some of the alternative control strategies currently emerging are based on the use of resistance inducers. The disacharride trehalose (TR) is classically described as an inducer of defenses in plants to abiotic stress. In this work, the elicitor or priming effect of TR was investigated in wheat both before and during a compatible wheat–powdery mildew interaction through molecular, biochemical, and cytological approaches. In noninoculated conditions, TR elicited the expression of genes encoding chitinase (chi, chi1, and chi4 precursor), pathogenesis-related protein 1, as well as oxalate oxidase (oxo). Moreover, lipid metabolism was shown to be altered by TR spraying via the upregulation of lipoxygenase (lox) and lipid-transfer protein (ltp)-encoding gene expression. On the other hand, the protection conferred by TR to wheat against powdery mildew is associated with the induction of two specific defense markers. Indeed, in infectious conditions following TR spraying, upregulations of chi4 precursor and lox gene expression as well as an induction of the LOX activity were observed. These results are also discussed with regard to the impact of TR on the fungal infectious process, which was shown to be stopped at the appressorial germ tube stage. Our findings strongly suggest that TR is a true inducer of wheat defense and resistance, at least toward powdery mildew.

Additional keywords: Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, compatible interaction, defense reaction.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society