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Keywords:

  • defense;
  • herbivory;
  • jasmonic acid;
  • jasmonic acid-isoleucine;
  • Nicotiana attenuata;
  • SGT1

Summary

  • SGT1 (suppressor of G-two allele of SKP1) is a conserved protein in all eukaryotes and is crucial for resisting pathogens in humans and plants. We studied whether SGT1 is involved in the induced defense response of a native tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) to its natural herbivore, Manduca sexta.
  • We diminished NaSGT1 transcription in N. attenuata using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and analysed the induced defense responses after wounding and M. sexta elicitation.
  • Silencing NaSGT1 highly attenuates wounding- and herbivory-induced amounts of jasmonic acid (JA) and JA-isoleucine but elevates the concentration of salicylic acid. Chemical profiling reveals that NaSGT1-silenced plants are also compromised in their ability to accumulate JA precursors produced in chloroplasts. We show that the reduced JA accumulation in NaSGT1-silenced plants is independent of the elevated salicylic acid levels. NaSGT1-silenced plants have decreased contents of defensive metabolites and have compromised resistance to M. sexta larvae. Transcript analyses after methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment revealed that NaSGT1 is important for the normal regulation of MeJA-induced transcriptional responses.
  • This work demonstrates the importance of SGT1 in the regulatory network that deploys defense responses against herbivores, and highlights the significance of SGT1 in plants’ responses to JA.