Plant Mol Biol (2014) 85:473–484
Expression of Arabidopsis sugar transport protein STP13
differentially affects glucose transport activity and basal
resistance to Botrytis cinerea
Pauline Lemonnier · Cécile Gaillard ·
Florian Veillet · Jérémy Verbeke · Rémi Lemoine ·
Pierre Coutos‑Thévenot · Sylvain La Camera
Received: 7 February 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published online: 11 May 2014
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
reactions and to deprive the fungus by changing sugar
ﬂuxes toward host cells.
Keywords Sugar transporter protein · Arabidopsis
thaliana · Botrytis cinerea · Basal resistance ·
Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic ascomycete respon-
sible for the grey mold disease (Williamson et al. 2007).
This fungus kills host cells using a large arsenal of weap-
ons that enables it to infect a broad range (>200) of host
plants. Secretion of non-speciﬁc toxins, i.e. botrydial, and
production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are com-
monly associated features of the infection process (van
Kan 2006; Choquer et al. 2007). B. cinerea also triggers
an active oxidative burst produced by the host itself. In the
case of necrotrophs, the subsequent plant cell death clearly
promotes the pathogen growth (Govrin and Levine 2000).
B. cinerea possesses multiple lytic enzymes, i.e. endopoly-
galacturonases, cutinases, cellulases, that degrade the cell
wall and the cuticle (ten Have et al. 1998; van Kan 2006).
Activities of cell wall-degrading enzymes allow the macer-
ation of the plant biomass, generating an important source
of nutrients for the fungus consumption.
Pathogens, whatever their type, develop at the expense
of the sugars produced by plants and it is largely assumed
that classical sources turn into sinks when colonized by
pathogens (Biemelt and Sonnewald 2006; Lemoine et al.
2013). B. cinerea can infect either source or sink organs.
The availability of carbohydrates may be an important
issue for B. cinerea during every stage of the infection, e.g.
germination, the penetration of the host surface, the killing
Abstract Botrytis cinerea is the causing agent of the grey
mold disease in more than 200 crop species. While sign-
aling 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-mod-
iﬁed plants were produced and assayed for their resistance
to B. cinerea and glucose transport activity. We report that
STP13-deﬁcient plants exhibited an enhanced susceptibil-
ity 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 devel-
opment and points out the importance of the host intracel-
lular sugar uptake in this process. We postulate that STP13
would participate in the active resorption of hexoses to sup-
port the increased energy demand to trigger plant defense
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (doi:10.1007/s11103-014-0198-5) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
P. Lemonnier · C. Gaillard · F. Veillet · J. Verbeke · R. Lemoine ·
P. Coutos-Thévenot · S. La Camera (*)
UMR CNRS 7267 EBI Ecologie et Biologie des Interactions,
Equipe “Physiologie Moléculaire du Transport des Sucres chez
les végétaux”, Université de Poitiers, Batiment Botanique B31, 3
rue Jacques Fort, TSA 51106, 86073 Poitiers Cedex 9, France