Get access

Negative cross-talk between salicylate- and jasmonate-mediated pathways in the Wassilewskija ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana


J. Bergelson. Fax: 773 7029740; E-mail:


Plants often respond to attack by insect herbivores and necrotrophic pathogens with induction of jasmonate-dependent resistance traits, but respond to attack by biotrophic pathogens with induction of salicylate-dependent resistance traits. To assess the degree to which the jasmonate- and salicylate-dependent pathways interact, we compared pathogenesis-related protein activity and bacterial performance in four mutant Arabidopsis thaliana lines relative to their wild-type backgrounds. We found that two salicylate-dependent pathway mutants (cep1, nim1-1) exhibited strong effects on the growth of the generalist biotrophic pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, whereas two jasmonate-dependent pathway mutants (fad3-2fad7-2fad8, jar1-1) did not. Leaf peroxidase and exochitinase activity were negatively correlated with bacterial growth, whereas leaf polyphenol oxidase activity and trypsin inhibitor concentration were not. Interestingly, leaf total glucosinolate concentration was positively correlated with bacterial growth. In the same experiment, we also found that application of jasmonic acid generally increased leaf peroxidase activity and trypsin inhibitor concentration in the mutant lines. However, the cep1 mutant, shown previously to overexpress salicylic acid, exhibited no detectable biological or chemical responses to jasmonic acid, suggesting that high levels of salicylic acid may have inhibited a plant response. In a second experiment, we compared the effect of jasmonic acid and/or salicylic acid on two ecotypes of A. thaliana. Application of salicylic acid to the Wassilewskija ecotype decreased bacterial growth. However, this effect was not observed when both salicylic acid and jasmonic acid were applied, suggesting that jasmonic acid negated the beneficial effect of salicylic acid. Collectively, our results confirm that the salicylate-dependent pathway is more important than the jasmonate-dependent pathway in determining growth of P. syringae pv. tomato in A. thaliana, and suggest important negative interactions between these two major defensive pathways in the Wassilewskija ecotype. In contrast, the Columbia ecotype exhibited little evidence of negative interactions between the two pathways, suggesting intraspecific variability in how these pathways interact in A. thaliana.