Abstract: Jasmonate (JA)-mediated defences play important roles in host responses to pathogen attack, in particular to necrotrophic fungal pathogens that kill host cells in order to extract nutrients and live off the dead plant tissue. The root-infecting fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum initiates a necrotrophic growth phase towards the later stages of its lifecycle and is responsible for devastating Fusarium wilt disease on numerous legume crops worldwide. Here we describe the use of the model legume Medicago truncatula to study legume–F. oxysporum interactions and compare and contrast this against knowledge from other model pathosystems, in particular Arabidopsis thaliana–F. oxysporum interactions. We describe publically-available genomic, transcriptomic and genetic (mutant) resources developed in M. truncatula that enable dissection of host jasmonate responses and apply aspects of these herein during the M. truncatula-–F. oxysporum interaction. Our initial results suggest not all components of JA-responses observed in M. truncatula are shared with Arabidopsis in response to F. oxysporum infection.
Abstract: Plant immunity relies on a complex network of hormone signaling pathways in which jasmonic acid (JA) plays a central role. Successful microbial pathogens or symbionts have developed strategies to manipulate plant hormone signaling pathways to cause hormonal imbalances for their own benefit. These strategies include the production of plant hormones, phytohormone mimics, or effector proteins that target host components to disrupt hormonal signaling pathways and enhance virulence. Here, we describe the molecular details of the most recent and best-characterized examples of specific JA hormonal manipulation by microbes, which exemplify the ingenious ways by which pathogens can take control over the plant’s hormone signaling network to suppress host immunity.
Abstract: Plant growth is often constrained by the limited availability of resources in the microenvironment. Despite the continuous threat of attack from insect herbivores and pathogens, investment in defense represents a lost opportunity to expand photosynthetic capacity in leaves and absorption of nutrients and water by roots. To mitigate the metabolic expenditure on defense, plants have evolved inducible defense strategies. The plant hormone jasmonate (JA) is a key regulator of many inducible defenses. Synthesis of JA in response to perceived danger leads to the deployment of a variety of defensive structures and compounds, along with a potent inhibition of growth. Genetic studies have established an important role for JA in mediating tradeoffs between growth and defense. However, several gaps remain in understanding of how JA signaling inhibits growth, either through direct transcriptional control of JA-response genes or crosstalk with other signaling pathways. Here, we highlight recent progress in uncovering the role of JA in controlling growth-defense balance and its relationship to resource acquisition and allocation. We also discuss tradeoffs in the context of the ability of JA to promote increased leaf mass per area (LMA), which is a key indicator of leaf construction costs and leaf life span.
Abstract: An increasing body of evidence points at a role of the plant hormones jasmonates (JAs) in determining the outcome of plant-virus interactions. Geminiviruses, small DNA viruses infecting a wide range of plant species worldwide, encode a multifunctional protein, C2, which is essential for full pathogenicity. The C2 protein has been shown to suppress the JA response, although the current view on the extent of this effect and the underlying molecular mechanisms is incomplete. In this work, we use a combination of exogenous hormone treatments, microarray analysis, and pathogen infections to analyze, in detail, the suppression of the JA response exerted by C2. Our results indicate that C2 specifically affects certain JA-induced responses, namely defence and secondary metabolism, and show that plants expressing C2 are more susceptible to pathogen attack. We propose a model in which C2 might interfere with the JA response at several levels.
Abstract: The ubiquitin (Ub) system is involved in most, if not all, biological processes in eukaryotes. The major specificity determinants of this system are the E3 ligases, which bind and ubiquitinate specific sets of proteins and are thereby responsible for target recruitment to the proteasome or other cellular processing machineries. The Ub system contributes to the regulation of the production, perception and signal transduction of plant hormones. Jasmonic acid (JA) and its derivatives, known as jasmonates (JAs), act as signaling compounds regulating plant development and plant responses to various biotic and abiotic stress conditions. We provide here an overview of the current understanding of the Ub system involved in JA signaling.