, Volume 193, Issue 3, pp 372–376 | Cite as

Ultraviolet light and ozone stimulate accumulation of salicylic acid, pathogenesis-related proteins and virus resistance in tobacco

  • Nasser Yalpani
  • Alexander J. Enyedi
  • Jose León
  • Ilya Raskin


In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Xanthinc), salicylic acid (SA) levels increase in leaves inoculated by necrotizing pathogens and in healthy leaves located above the inoculated site. Systemic SA increase may trigger disease resistance and synthesis of pathogenesis-related proteins (PR proteins). Here we report that ultraviolet (UV)-C light or ozone induced biochemical responses similar to those induced by necrotizing pathogens. Exposure of leaves to UV-C light or ozone resulted in a transient ninefold increase in SA compared to controls. In addition, in UV-light-irradiated plants, SA increased nearly fourfold to 0.77 μg·g−1 fresh weight in leaves that were shielded from UV light. Increased SA levels were accompanied by accumulation of an SA conjugate and by an increase in the activity of benzoic acid 2-hydroxylase which catalyzes SA biosynthesis. In irradiated and in unirradiated leaves of plants treated with UV light, as well as in plants fumigated with ozone, PR proteins 1a and 1b accumulated. This was paralleled by the appearance of induced resistance to a subsequent challenge with tobacco mosaic virus. The results suggest that UV light, ozone fumigation and tobacco mosaic virus can activate a common signal-transduction pathway that leads to SA and PR-protein accumulation and increased disease resistance.

Key words

Disease resistance Nicotiana (disease resistance) Ozone Pathogenesis related protein Salicylic acid Ultraviolet irradiation 


PR protein

pathogenesis-related protein


salicylic acid


tobacco mosaic virus




Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Apostol, I., Heinstein, P.F., Low, P.S. (1989) Rapid stimulation of an oxidative burst during elicitation of cultured plant cells. Plant Physiol. 90, 109–116Google Scholar
  2. Bors, W., Heller, W., Michel, C., Saran, M. (1989) Flavonoids as antioxidants. Methods Enzymol. 186, 343–355Google Scholar
  3. Brederode, F.T., Linthorst, H.J.M., Bol, J.F. (1991) Differential induction of acquired resistance and PR gene expression by virus infection, ethephon treatment, UV light and wounding. Plant Molec. Biol. 17, 1117–1125Google Scholar
  4. Chappell, J., Hahlbrock, K. (1984) Transcription of plant defense genes in response to UV light or fungal elicitor. Nature 311, 76–78Google Scholar
  5. Chester, K.S. (1933) The problem of acquired physiological immunity in plants. Quart. Rev. Biol. 8, 275–324Google Scholar
  6. Dixon, R.A., Lamb, C.J. (1990) Molecular communication in interactions between plants and microbial pathogens. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 41, 339–367Google Scholar
  7. Enyedi, A.J., Raskin, I. (1993) Induction of UDP-glucose:salicylic acid glucosyltransferase activity in tobacco mosaic virus-inoculated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves. Plant Physiol. 101, 1375–1380Google Scholar
  8. Enyedi, A.J., Yalpani, N., Silverman, P., Raskin, I. (1992) Localization, conjugation, and function of salicylic acid in tobacco during the hypersensitive reaction to tobacco mosaic virus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 2480–2484Google Scholar
  9. Ernst, D., Schraudner, M., Langebartels, C., Sandermann, H. (1992) Ozone-induced changes of mRNA levels of β-1,3-glucanase, chitinase and ‘pathogenesis-related’ protein 1b in tobacco plants. Plant Mol. Biol. 20, 673–682Google Scholar
  10. Gilpatrick, J.D., Weintraub, M. (1952) An unusual type of protection with the carnation mosaic virus. Science 115, 701–702Google Scholar
  11. Heath, R.L. (1988) Biochemical mechanisms of pollutant stress. In: Assessment of crop loss from air pollutants, pp. 259–286, W.W. Heck, O.C. Taylor, D.T. Tingey, eds., Elsevier, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Imbrie, C.W., Murphy, T.M. (1984) Mechanism of photoinactivation of plant plasma membrane ATPase. Photochem. Photobiol. 40, 243–248Google Scholar
  13. Kuhn, D.L., Chappell, J., Boudet, A., Hahlbrock, K. (1984) Induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase mRNAs in cultured plant cells by UV light and fungal elicitor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 1102–1106Google Scholar
  14. León, J., Yalpani, N., Raskin, I., Lawton, M. (1993) Induction of benzoic acid 2-hydroxylase in virus-inoculated tobacco. Plant Physiol. 103, 323–328Google Scholar
  15. Malamy, J., Carr, J.P., Klessig, D.F., Raskin, I. (1990) Salicylic acid — a likely endogenous signal in the resistance response of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus infection. Science 250, 1002–1004Google Scholar
  16. Métraux, J.P., Signer, H., Ryals, J., Ward, E., Wyss-Benz, M., Gaudin, J., Raschdorf, K., Schmid, E., Blum, W., Inverardi, B. (1990) Increase in salicylic acid at the onset of systemic acquired resistance in cucumber. Science 250, 1004–1006Google Scholar
  17. Rasmussen, J.B., Hammerschmidt, R., Zook, M.N. (1991) Systemic induction of salicylic acid accumulation in cucumber after inoculation with Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Plant Physiol. 97, 1342–1347Google Scholar
  18. Rosemann, D., Heller, W., Sandermann, H. (1991) Biochemical plant responses to ozone. II. Induction of stilbene biosynthesis in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings. Plant Physiol. 97, 1280–1286Google Scholar
  19. Ross, A.F. (1961a) Systemic acquired resistance induced by localized virus infections in plants. Virology 13, 340–358Google Scholar
  20. Ross, A.F. (1961b) Localized acquired resistance to plant virus infection in hypersensitive hosts. Virology 14, 329–339Google Scholar
  21. Schraudner, M., Ernst, D., Langebartels, C., Sandermann, H. (1992) Biochemical plant responses to ozone. III. Activation of the defense-related proteins β-1,3-glucanase and chitinase in tobacco leaves. Plant Physiol. 99, 1321–1328Google Scholar
  22. Silverman, P., Nuckles, E., Ye, X.S., Kuc, J., Raskin, I. (1993) Salicylic acid, ethylene, and pathogen resistance in tobacco. MPMI 6, 775–781Google Scholar
  23. Ward, E.R., Uknes, S.J., Williams, S.C., Dincher, S.S., Wiederhold, D.L., Alexander, D.C., Ahl-Goy, P., Métraux, J.P., Ryals, J.A. (1991) Coordinate gene activity in response to agents that induce systemic acquired resistance. Plant Cell 3, 1085–1094Google Scholar
  24. Yalpani, N., Raskin, I. (1993) Salicylic acid: a systemic signal in plant disease resistance. Trends Microbiol. 1, 88–92Google Scholar
  25. Yalpani, N., Silverman, P., Wilson, T.M.A., Kleier, S.A., Raskin, I. (1991) Salicylic acid is a systemic signal and an inducer of pathogenesis-related proteins in virus-infected tobacco. Plant Cell 3, 809–818Google Scholar
  26. Yalpani, N., Leon, J., Lawton, M.A., Raskin, I. (1993) Pathway of salicylic acid biosynthesis in healthy and virus-inoculated tobacco. Plant Physiol. 103, 315–321Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasser Yalpani
    • 1
  • Alexander J. Enyedi
    • 1
  • Jose León
    • 1
  • Ilya Raskin
    • 1
  1. 1.AgBiotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations