Plant & cell physiology

Volatile C6-aldehydes and Allo-ocimene activate defense genes and induce resistance against Botrytis cinerea in Arabidopsis thaliana.

PMID 15879447


Green leafy volatiles or isoprenoids are produced after mechanical wounding or pathogen/herbivore attacks in higher plants. We monitored expression profiles of the genes involved in defense responses upon exposing Arabidopsis thaliana to the volatiles. Among the genes investigated, those known to be induced by mechanical wounding and/or jasmonate application, such as chalcone synthase (CHS), caffeic acid-O-methyltransferase (COMT), diacylglycerol kinase1 (DGK1), glutathione-S-transferase1 (GST1) and lipoxygenase2 (LOX2), were shown to be induced with (E)-2-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenol or allo-ocimene (2,6-dimethyl-2,4,6-octatriene). A salicylic acid-responsive gene, pathogenesis-related protein2 (PR2), was not induced by the volatiles. Detailed analyses of the expression profiles showed that the manner of induction varied depending on either the gene monitored or the volatile used. A chemically inert compound, (Z)-3-hexenol, was also potent, which suggested that chemical reactivity was not the sole requisite for the inducing activity. With a jasmonate-insensitive mutant (jar1), the induction by the volatiles was mostly suppressed, however, that of LOX2 was unaltered. An ethylene-insensitive mutant (etr1) showed responses almost identical to the wild type, with minor exceptions. From these observations, it was suggested that both the jasmonate-dependent and -independent pathways were operative upon perception of the volatiles, while the ETR1-dependent pathway was not directly involved. When Botrytis cinerea was inoculated after the volatile treatment, retardation of disease development could be seen. It appears that volatile treatment could make the plants more resistant against the fungal disease.

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2,6-Dimethyl-2,4,6-octatriene, technical grade, 80%