Acquired disease resistance can be induced in rice (Oryza sativa) by a number of synthetic or natural compounds, but the molecular mechanisms behind the phenomenon are poorly understood. One of the synthetic inducers of resistance, 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA), efficiently protected rice leaves from infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea (Hebert) Barr. A comparison of gene-expression patterns in plants treated with INA versus plants inoculated with the compatible pathogen M. grisea or the incompatible pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv syringae revealed only a marginal overlap: 6 gene products, including pathogenesis-related proteins (PR1-PR9), accumulated in both INA-treated and pathogen-attacked leaves, whereas 26 other gene products accumulated only in INA-treated or only in pathogen-attacked leaves. Lipoxygenase enzyme activity and levels of nonconjugated jasmonic acid (JA) were enhanced in leaves of plants treated with a high dose of INA (100 ppm). Exogenously applied JA enhanced the gene induction and plant protection caused by lower doses of INA (0.1 to 10 ppm) that by themselves did not give rise to enhanced levels of endogenous (-)-JA. These data suggest that INA, aside from activating a pathogen-induced signaling pathway, also induces events that are not related to pathogenesis. JA acts as an enhancer of both types of INA-induced reactions in rice.
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