Fine-Tuning Plant Defence Signalling: Salicylate versus Jasmonate

Authors

  • G. J. M. Beckers,

    1. Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Plant Physiology, RWTH - Aachen University, Worringerweg 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany
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  • S. H. Spoel

    Corresponding author
    1. Developmental, Cell, and Molecular Biology Group, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA
      Developmental, Cell, and Molecular Biology Group Department of Biology Duke University P.O. Box 91000 Durham, North Carolina 27708 USA E-mail: shs3@duke.edu
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Developmental, Cell, and Molecular Biology Group Department of Biology Duke University P.O. Box 91000 Durham, North Carolina 27708 USA E-mail: shs3@duke.edu

Abstract

Abstract: Plant defences against pathogens and herbivorous insects form a comprehensive network of interacting signal transduction pathways. The signalling molecules salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) play important roles in this network. SA is involved in signalling processes providing systemic acquired resistance (SAR), protecting the plant from further infection after an initial pathogen attack. SAR is long-lasting and provides broad spectrum resistance to biotrophic pathogens that feed on a living host cell. The regulatory protein NPR1 is a central positive regulator of SAR. SA-activated NPR1 localizes to the nucleus where it interacts with TGA transcription factors to induce the expression of a large set of pathogenesis-related proteins that contribute to the enhanced state of resistance. In a distinct signalling process, JA protects the plant from insect infestation and necrotrophic pathogens that kill the host cell before feeding. JA activates the regulatory protein COI1 that is part of the E3 ubiquitin ligase-containing complex SCFCOI1, which is thought to derepress JA-responsive genes involved in plant defence. Both synergistic and antagonistic interactions have been observed between SA- and JA-dependent defences. NPR1 has emerged as a critical modulator of cross-talk between the SA and JA signal and is thought to aid in fine tuning defence responses specific to the encountered attacker. Here we review SA- and JA-dependent signal transduction and summarize our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cross-talk between these defences.

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