Salicylic acid (SA) is known to be an essential component responsible for disease resistance in dicotyledonous plants. In rice, however, tissue contains extremely high endogenous levels of SA that do not increase after pathogen infection, suggesting that the SA has other major functions in healthy leaves. Although involvement of SA in oxidative-stress response is known in some dicotyledonous plants, antioxidative role of SA in rice is obscure. In this study, we examined the involvement of SA in the protection against oxidative stress in rice, using transgenic plants expressing the bacterial nahG gene that encodes salicylate hydroxylase, an SA-degrading enzyme. In SA-deficient NahG rice, the glutathione pool size was constitutively diminished as compared with control plants. NahG seedlings showed a delayed development phenotype, an increased susceptibility to oxidative stress and they developed light-induced lesions in their leaves without pathogen infection. Conversely, treatment with an activator of the SA-mediated defense-signaling pathway, probenazole, increased the glutathione pool size and suppressed lesion formation. These results suggest that in rice, SA has an important role in the response to high-light-induced oxidative stress, through its regulatory effects on glutathione homeostasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology