Plant physiology

In Plant Protoplasts, the Spontaneous Expression of Defense Reactions and the Responsiveness to Exogenous Elicitors Are under Auxin Control.

PMID 16668208


When auxin was omitted during either the preparation or the culture of tobacco mesophyll protoplasts, as well as during both periods, synthesis of beta-glucanase was spontaneously induced. In contrast, when protoplasts were prepared and cultured in the presence of 16 micromolar 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (optimal concentration for protoplast division), the expression of beta-glucanase was maintained close to the minimal level observed in tobacco leaves. This inhibitory effect was only promoted by active auxins (1-naphthaleneacetic acid, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and 3-indoleacetic acid) but not by inactive auxin analogs. Tobacco protoplasts responded to exogenous elicitors from the cell wall of Phytophthora megasperma glycinea (Pmg) by accumulating beta-glucanase in the presence of 16 micromolar 1-naphthaleneacetic acid. At higher auxin concentrations, the elicitor-induced beta-glucanase synthesis was inhibited. Naphthaleneacetic acid concentration (3 x 10(-5) molar) required to inhibit by 50% the expression of this defense reaction triggered by a near-optimal elicitor concentration was about 100 times higher than that sufficient to inhibit by 50% the spontaneous expression in nonelicited protoplasts. This is the first demonstration of an auxin-fungal elicitor interaction in the control of a defined defense reaction. The above observations were extended to soybean cell protoplasts. The Pmg elicitor-induced stimulation of the synthesis of pathogenesis related P17 polypeptides and of a 39-kilodalton peptide immunologically related to tobacco beta-glucanase was only observed when the spontaneous accumulation of these proteins was inhibited in auxin-treated protoplasts.

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