The jasmonate receptor COI1 is known to facilitate plant defense responses against necrotrophic pathogens, including the ascomycete Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. However, it is not known to what extent jasmonates contribute to defense nor have COI1-indepenent defense pathways been sufficiently characterized. Here we show that the susceptibility to S. sclerotiorum of the aos mutant, deficient in biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) and its precursor 12-oxophytadienoic acid, was elevated to a level reminiscent of that of hypersusceptible coi1 mutants. In contrast, susceptibility of the JA-deficient opr3 mutant was comparable with that of the wild type. A set of 99 genes responded similarly to infection with S. sclerotiorum in wild-type and coi1 mutant leaves. Expression of this COI1-independent gene set correlated with known differences in gene expression between wild-type plants and a mutant in the transcriptional repressor auxin response factor 2 (arf2). Susceptibility to S. sclerotiorum was reduced in two arf2 mutants early during infection, implicating ARF2 as a negative regulator of defense responses against this pathogen. Hypersusceptibility of an axr1 mutant to S. sclerotiorum confirmed the contribution of auxin action to defense responses against this fungal pathogen.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology