Rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR) in Arabidopsis is not associated with a direct effect on expression of known defense-related genes but stimulates the expression of the jasmonate-inducible gene Atvsp upon challenge
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Selected strains of nonpathogenic rhizobacteria from the genus Pseudomonas are capable of eliciting broad-spectrum induced systemic resistance (ISR) in plants that is phenotypically similar to pathogen-induced systemic acquired resistance (SAR). In Arabidopsis, the ISR pathway functions independently of salicylic acid (SA) but requires responsiveness to jasmonate and ethylene. Here, we demonstrate that known defense-related genes, i.e. the SA-responsive genes PR-1, PR-2, and PR-5, the ethylene-inducible gene Hel, the ethylene- and jasmonate-responsive genes ChiB and Pdf1.2, and the jasmonate-inducible genes Atvsp, Lox1, Lox2, Pal1, and Pin2, are neither induced locally in the roots nor systemically in the leaves upon induction of ISR by Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r. In contrast, plants infected with the virulent leaf pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) or expressing SAR induced by preinfecting lower leaves with the avirulent pathogen Pst(avrRpt2) exhibit elevated expression levels of most of the defense-related genes studied. Upon challenge inoculation with Pst, PR gene transcripts accumulated to a higher level in SAR-expressing plants than in control-treated and ISR-expressing plants, indicating that SAR involves potentiation of SA-responsive PR gene expression. In contrast, pathogen challenge of ISR-expressing plants led to an enhanced level of Atvsp transcript accumulation. The other jasmonate-responsive defense-related genes studied were not potentiated during ISR, indicating that ISR is associated with the potentiation of specific jasmonate-responsive genes.
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