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Journal of experimental botany

Cell wall composition and penetration resistance against the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum are affected by impaired starch turnover in Arabidopsis mutants.


PMID 28204541

Abstract

Penetration resistance represents the first level of plant defense against phytopathogenic fungi. Here, we report that the starch-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana phosphoglucomutase (pgm) mutant has impaired penetration resistance against the hemibiotrophic fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum. We could not determine any changes in leaf cutin and epicuticular wax composition or indolic glucosinolate levels, but detected complex alterations in the cell wall monosaccharide composition of pgm. Notably, other mutants deficient in starch biosynthesis (adg1) or mobilization (sex1) had similarly affected cell wall composition and penetration resistance. Glycome profiling analysis showed that both overall cell wall polysaccharide extractability and relative extractability of specific pectin and xylan epitopes were affected in pgm, suggesting extensive structural changes in pgm cell walls. Screening of mutants with alterations in content or modification of specific cell wall monosaccharides indicated an important function of pectic polymers for penetration resistance and hyphal growth of C. higginsianum during the biotrophic interaction phase. While mutants with affected pectic rhamnogalacturonan-I (mur8) were hypersusceptible, penetration frequency and morphology of fungal hyphae were impaired on pmr5 pmr6 mutants with increased pectin levels. Our results reveal a strong impact of starch metabolism on cell wall composition and suggest a link between carbohydrate availability, cell wall pectin and penetration resistance.

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