Jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET) are known to play important roles in mediating plant defense against herbivores, but how they affect development in herbivore-attacked plants is unknown. We used JA-deficient (silenced in LIPOXYGENASE3 [asLOX3]) and ET-insensitive (expressing a mutated dominant negative form of ETHYLENE RESPONSE1 [mETR1]) Nicotiana attenuata plants, and their genetic cross (mETR1asLOX3), to examine growth and development of these plants under simulated herbivory conditions. At the whole plant level, both hormones suppressed leaf expansion after the plants had been wounded and the wounds had been immediately treated with Manduca sexta oral secretions (OS). In addition, ectopic cell expansion was observed around both water- and OS-treated wounds in mETR1asLOX3 leaves but not in mETR1, asLOX3, or wild-type leaves. Pretreating asLOX3 leaves with the ET receptor antagonist 1-methylcyclopropane resulted in local cell expansion that closely mimicked the mETR1asLOX3 phenotype. We found higher auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) levels in the elicited leaves of mETR1asLOX3 plants, a trait that is putatively associated with enhanced cell expansion and leaf growth in this genotype. Transcript profiling of OS-elicited mETR1asLOX3 leaves revealed a preferential accumulation of transcripts known to function in cell wall remodeling, suggesting that both JA and ET act as negative regulators of these genes. We propose that in N. attenuata, JA-ET cross talk restrains local cell expansion and growth after herbivore attack, allowing more resources to be allocated to induced defenses against herbivores.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science