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Keywords:

  • NPR1;
  • disease resistance;
  • cross-talk;
  • Arabidopsis;
  • salicylic acid;
  • jasmonate

Summary

Cross-talk between signal transduction pathways is a central feature of the tightly regulated plant defense signaling network. The potential synergism or antagonism between defense pathways is determined by recognition of the type of pathogen or pathogen-derived elicitor. Our studies have identified WRKY70 as a node of convergence for integrating salicylic acid (SA)- and jasmonic acid (JA)-mediated signaling events during plant response to bacterial pathogens. Here, we challenged transgenic plants altered in WRKY70 expression as well as WRKY70 knockout mutants of Arabidopsis with the fungal pathogens Alternaria brassicicola and Erysiphe cichoracearum to elucidate the role of WRKY70 in modulating the balance between distinct defense responses. Gain or loss of WRKY70 function causes opposite effects on JA-mediated resistance to A. brassicicola and the SA-mediated resistance to E. cichoracearum. While the up-regulation of WRKY70 caused enhanced resistance to E. cichoracearum, it compromised plant resistance to A. brassicicola. Conversely, down-regulation or insertional inactivation of WRKY70 impaired plant resistance to E. cichoracearum. Over-expression of WRKY70 resulted in the suppression of several JA responses including expression of a subset of JA- and A. brassicicola-responsive genes. We show that this WRKY70-controlled suppression of JA-signaling is partly executed by NPR1. The results indicate that WRKY70 has a pivotal role in determining the balance between SA-dependent and JA-dependent defense pathways.