Planta

, Volume 230, Issue 3, pp 569–579

Pythium infection activates conserved plant defense responses in mosses

Authors

  • Juan Pablo Oliver
    • Departamento de Biología MolecularInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE)
  • Alexandra Castro
    • Departamento de Biología MolecularInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE)
  • Carina Gaggero
    • Departamento de Biología MolecularInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE)
  • Tomas Cascón
    • Departamento de Genética Molecular de Plantas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasCampus Universidad Autónoma
  • Eric A. Schmelz
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research ServiceCenter for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology
  • Carmen Castresana
    • Departamento de Genética Molecular de Plantas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasCampus Universidad Autónoma
    • Departamento de Biología MolecularInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE)
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-009-0969-4

Cite this article as:
Oliver, J.P., Castro, A., Gaggero, C. et al. Planta (2009) 230: 569. doi:10.1007/s00425-009-0969-4

Abstract

The moss Physcomitrella patens (P. patens) is a useful model to study abiotic stress responses since it is highly tolerant to drought, salt and osmotic stress. However, very little is known about the defense mechanisms activated in this moss after pathogen assault. In this study, we show that P. patens activated multiple and similar responses against Pythium irregulare and Pythium debaryanum, including the reinforcement of the cell wall, induction of the defense genes CHS, LOX and PAL, and accumulation of the signaling molecules jasmonic acid (JA) and its precursor 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). However, theses responses were not sufficient and infection could not be prevented leading to hyphae colonization of moss tissues and plant decay. Pythium infection induced reactive oxygen species production and caused cell death of moss tissues. Taken together, these data indicate that Pythium infection activates in P. patens common responses to those previously characterized in flowering plants. Microscopic analysis also revealed intracellular relocation of chloroplasts in Pythium-infected tissues toward the infection site. In addition, OPDA, JA and its methyl ester methyl jasmonate induced the expression of PAL. Our results show for the first time JA and OPDA accumulation in a moss and suggest that this defense pathway is functional and has been maintained during the evolution of plants.

Keywords

Cell wall reinforcementChloroplastsDefense genesJasmonic acidPhyscomitrellaPythium

Abbreviations

P. patens

Physcomitrella patens

P. irregulare

Pythium irregulare

P. debaryanum

Pythium debaryanum

JA

Jasmonic acid

MeJA

Methyl jasmonate

OPDA

12-Oxo-phytodienoic acid

SA

Salicylic acid

ET

Ethylene

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

LOX

Lipoxygenase

PAL

Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase

CHS

Chalcone synthase

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009