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Mechanisms and genes controlling the signalling network for biotic and abiotic stress defences in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyhn : Functional cross-talk between photo-produced reactive oxygen species, photosynthesis and plant disease defence responses

by Chang, Christine Chi-Chen

Abstract (Summary)
Excess excitation energy, mechanical injury and defence against pathogens, each trigger rapid production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. ROS, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are required for the induction of systemic acquired acclimation and may lead to redox changes in photosynthetic electron transport (PET). On one hand, enhanced ROS production during stress can destroy cells, and on the other, ROS can also act as signals for the activation of stress responsive and defensive pathways.In this work, physiological and molecular analyses of Arabidopsis mutants and transgenic lines were applied to investigate the signalling network controlling biotic and abiotic stress responses. A key enzyme of the antioxidant network is encoded by ASCORBATE PEROXIDASE 2 (APX2). Wounded leaves showed low induction of APX2 expression and when exposed to excess light, APX2 expression was increased synergistically. Signalling pathways dependent upon jasmonic acid, chitosan and abscisic acid were not involved in the wound-induced expression of APX2, but PET was required, and APX2 induction was preceded by a depressed rate of CO2 fixation.Analysis of lsd1 (LESION SIMULATING DISEASE 1) strongly suggests that light acclimatory processes and pathogen defences are genetically and functionally linked. It is important to know that LSD1 type of mutants have mainly been studied with regard to pathogenesis. From this work, it reveals that association of LSD1 with hypersensitive response may only be supplementary.GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASES (GPXs) are another major family of ROS scavenging enzymes. Analysis of the Arabidopsis genome database revealed a new open-reading frame, thus increasing the total number of AtGPX gene family to eight (AtGPX1-AtGPX8). Arabidopsis thaliana transgenic lines with reduced expression of both putative chloroplastic isoforms (AtGPX1 and AtGPX7) and AtGPX7 knock-out mutant (ko-GPX7) were more sensitive to photo-oxidative stress but had a reduced bacterial growth rate when inoculated with virulent strains Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 and P.s.t. maculicola strain ES4326, indicating increased resistance to pathogenesis. This, to our knowledge, is the first functional and genetic analysis of chloroplastic GPXs in plants, and confirms that light and chloroplastic ROS metabolism is important for basal resistance against virulent pathogens.The above results confirm that light sensing, light acclimatory processes and photo-produced ROS also govern pathogen defence pathways. This has a great ecological relevance for Darwinian fitness of plants growing in the natural environment, where simultaneous pathogen attack and fluctuations in light, temperature and other environmental factors make rapid acclimation a constant necessity. Molecular, biochemical and physiological analysis of pathogen responses in mutants impaired in light sensing, EEE-dissipatory mechanisms, and similar analysis of light acclimatory processes in mutants impaired in pathogen defences may prove to be seminal.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Biology; Organism biology; Plant physiology; reactive oxygen species; Arabidopsis thaliana; signalling work; biotic stress; abiotic stress

ISBN:91-7155-002-X

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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