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Deciphering the involvement of glutathione in phytohormone signaling pathways to mitigate stress in planta


Phytohormone signaling in plant defence is a well-established fact. In this intricate process, glutathione (GSH) is progressively gaining an importance. To unravel further, exogenous treatment of Arabidopsis thaliana plants, viz. wild type Col-0; AtECS1, the transgenic line exhibiting enhanced GSH content, and pad2-1, a GSH-deficient mutant, with various phytohormones like salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (ET) and abscisic acid (ABA) followed by quantitative real time (RT) PCR analysis of stress responsive transcripts were performed. Results showed upregulation of PR1, PR2 (pathogenesis related1, 2) and NPR1 (nonexpressor of PR gene1), with greater expressions in AtECS1 and lower in pad2-1, while PR4 (pathogenesis related4) and AOS (allene oxide synthase) remained unchanged, after SA treatment. Whereas, ACO1 (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate, ACC oxidase1), PR4 and AOS were upregulated with highest expression in AtECS1, lowest in pad2-1 along with unchanged expressions of NPR1 and PR1 after JA treatment. Upon ET treatment, upregulation of ACO1 and PR4, as well as PR1, PR5 and NPR1 were noted, with maximum expressions in AtECS1 and lower in pad2-1. ABA treatment enhanced the expression of LHY (late elongated hypocotyl), ADC2 (arginine decarboxylase2) and PR4 with highest expression in AtECS1, while, expression of NPR1 and PR1 remained unchanged. Collectively, our results demonstrated the upregulation of stress responsive genes in AtECS1 both under control and treated conditions. Thus, GSH seems to play an essential role in modulating the complex crosstalk that exists within phytohormonal signaling pathways, probably in a beneficial way which might suggests its significance to mitigate stress in planta.

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The authors are grateful to the Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata for providing the necessary facilities. The authors would like to acknowledge Science Engineering Research Board (EMR/2016/001121 dated 30th December 2016) New Delhi for financial support. AS is thankful to the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi for her Senior Research Fellowship (Grant Number 31/02(1098)/2018-EMR-I).

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AS and SC designed the experiments. AS carried out the experimental and analytical works and drafted the manuscript. SC supervised the analysis and prepared the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sharmila Chattopadhyay.

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Sultana, A., Chattopadhyay, S. Deciphering the involvement of glutathione in phytohormone signaling pathways to mitigate stress in planta. Nucleus 63, 25–33 (2020).

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  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Glutathione
  • Salicylic acid
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Ethylene
  • Abscisic acid