Plant elicitor peptides (Peps) are widely distributed among angiosperms, and have been shown to amplify immune responses in multiple plant families. Here, we characterize three Peps from soybean (Glycine max) and describe their effects on plant defences against two damaging agricultural pests, the root‐knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) and the soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines). Seed treatments with exogenous GmPep1, GmPep2 or GmPep3 significantly reduced the reproduction of both nematodes. Pep treatment also protected plants from the inhibitory effects of root‐knot nematodes on above‐ground growth, and up‐regulated basal expression levels of nematode‐responsive defence genes. GmPep1 induced the expression of its propeptide precursor (GmPROPEP1), a nucleotide‐binding site leucine‐rich repeat protein (NBS‐LRR), a pectin methylesterase inhibitor (PMEI), Respiratory Burst Oxidase Protein D (RBOHD) and the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in leaves. In addition, GmPep2 and GmPep3 seed treatments up‐regulated RBOHD expression and ROS accumulation in roots and leaves. These results suggest that GmPeps activate plant defences through systemic transcriptional reprogramming and ROS signalling, and that Pep seed treatments represent a potential strategy for nematode management.
Molecular Plant Pathology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ;
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