Ergosterol is the main sterol of most fungi. Production of reactive oxygen species after the treatment of tobacco and tomato cells by nano-molar concentrations of ergosterol was previously observed as well as the activation of some stress activated mitogen-activated protein kinases on alfalfa cells. In this paper, the expression of some defence-related genes after the ergosterol treatment of tobacco Nicotiana tabacum plants is reported. The gene expression of pathogenesis related proteins of families PR1, PR3, PR5 and proteinase inhibitors of class I and II together with enzymes participating in the defence response, such as phenylalanine-ammonia lyase and sesquiterpene cyclase, were monitored by RT-qPCR. In addition, the concentrations of salicylic acid, an important signalling molecule, increased in time due to the enzyme activation. On the other hand, ergosterol did not provoke tissue necrosis and the possible cross-talk between the signalling pathways of salicylate and jasmonate was observed. Collected data shows that ergosterol is able to activate the expression of a number of defence genes and could increase resistance against pathogens.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 10, 2006
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