Russian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 579–587 | Cite as

Macromolecular Toxins Secreted by Botrytis cinerea Induce Programmed Cell Death in Arabidopsis Leaves

  • D. Huo
  • J. Wu
  • Q. Kong
  • G. B. Zhang
  • Y. Y. WangEmail author
  • H. Y. Yang
Research Papers


Botrytis cinerea causes grey mold disease in crops and horticultural plants. It is suspected to kill plant cells via secreted toxins and to derive nutrients from dead or dying cells. However, whether macromolecular phytotoxins (MPs) secreted by B. cinerea induce necrosis or also trigger a programmed cell death (PCD) remains to be determined. We have previously partially characterized MPs secreted by B. cinerea. Here we isolated MPs from B. cinerea culture and applied them to leaf cells, assessing PCD over the following 120 h. Cell death was assessed by propidium iodide (PI) and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. Catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD) activity and the cytochrome c/a ratio were assessed by spectrophotometer. POD isomers were measured using the benzidine acetate method. In Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. exposed to B. cinerea MPs, we observed chromatin condensation and marginalization, nuclear substance leakage and accumulation of autofluorescent materials in the cell wall. Furthermore, B. cinerea MPs induced release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Moreover, CAT and POD activity was upregulated and the POD isoenzyme pattern was altered. In conclusion, A. thaliana exposed to B. cinerea MPs exhibits multiple hallmarks of PCD, suggesting that B. cinerea induces PCD in host cells through secreted macromolecules.


Arabidopsis thaliana Botrytis cinerea macromolecule phytotoxins programmed cell death 



programmed cell death


macromolecular phytotoxins


propidium iodide








hypersensitive response


potato dextrose agar

Cyt c/a

cytochrome c and a


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Huo
    • 1
  • J. Wu
    • 1
  • Q. Kong
    • 1
  • G. B. Zhang
    • 2
  • Y. Y. Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Y. Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Plant Protection, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Agricultural Biodiversity and Pest ManagementYunnan Agricultural UniversityYunnan, KunmingChina
  2. 2.College of Life Science and TechnologyKunming UniversityKunmingChina

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