Alpha-dioxygenases (α-DOX) catalyzing the primary oxygenation of fatty acids to oxylipins were recently found in plants. Here, the biological roles of the pepper α-DOX (Ca-DOX) gene, which is strongly induced during non-host pathogen infection in chili pepper, were examined. Virus-induced gene silencing demonstrated that down-regulation of Ca-DOX enhanced susceptibility to bacterial pathogens and suppressed the hypersensitive response via the suppression of pathogenesis-related genes such as PR4, proteinase inhibitor II and lipid transfer protein (PR14). Ca-DOX-silenced pepper plants also exhibited more retarded growth with lower epidermal cell numbers and reduced cell wall thickness than control plants. To better understand regulation of Ca-DOX, transgenic Arabidopsis plants harboring the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene driven from a putative Ca-DOX promoter were generated. GUS expression was significantly induced upon avirulent pathogen infection in transgenic Arabidopsis leaves, whereas GUS induction was relatively weak upon virulent pathogen treatment. After treatment with plant hormones, early and strong GUS expression was seen after treatment of salicylic acid, whereas ethylene and methyl jasmonate treatments produced relatively weak and late GUS signals. These results will enable us to further understand the role of α-DOX, which is important in lipid metabolism, defense responses, and growth development in plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 21, 2016
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