Botrytis cinerea is the causing agent of the grey mold disease in more than 200 crop species. While signaling pathways leading to the basal resistance against this fungus are well described, the role of the import of sugars into host cells remains to be investigated. In Arabidopsis thaliana, apoplastic hexose retrieval is mediated by the activity of sugar transport proteins (STPs). Expression analysis of the 14 STP genes revealed that only STP13 was induced in leaves challenged with B. cinerea. STP13-modified plants were produced and assayed for their resistance to B. cinerea and glucose transport activity. We report that STP13-deficient plants exhibited an enhanced susceptibility and a reduced rate of glucose uptake. Conversely, plants with a high constitutive level of STP13 protein displayed an improved capacity to absorb glucose and an enhanced resistance phenotype. The correlation between STP13 transcripts, protein accumulation, glucose uptake rate and resistance level indicates that STP13 contributes to the basal resistance to B. cinerea by limiting symptom development and points out the importance of the host intracellular sugar uptake in this process. We postulate that STP13 would participate in the active resorption of hexoses to support the increased energy demand to trigger plant defense reactions and to deprive the fungus by changing sugar fluxes toward host cells.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 11, 2014
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