The major volatile organic compound emitted from Arabidopsis thaliana flowers, the sesquiterpene (E)-β-caryophyllene, is a defense against a bacterial pathogen
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 193, Issue 4, pages 997–1008, March 2012
How to Cite
Huang, M., Sanchez-Moreiras, A. M., Abel, C., Sohrabi, R., Lee, S., Gershenzon, J. and Tholl, D. (2012), The major volatile organic compound emitted from Arabidopsis thaliana flowers, the sesquiterpene (E)-β-caryophyllene, is a defense against a bacterial pathogen. New Phytologist, 193: 997–1008. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.04001.x
- Issue published online: 2 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2011
- Received: 12 October 2011, Accepted: 3 November 2011
- antimicrobial defense;
- Arabidopsis thaliana;
- bacterial pathogen;
- floral volatile;
- Pseudomonas syringae;
- •Flowers have a high risk of pathogen attack because of their rich nutrient and moisture content, and high frequency of insect visitors. We investigated the role of (E)-β-caryophyllene in floral defense against a microbial pathogen. This sesquiterpene is a common volatile compound emitted from flowers, and is a major volatile released from the stigma of Arabidopsis thaliana flowers.
- •Arabidopsis thaliana lines lacking a functional (E)-β-caryophyllene synthase or constitutively overexpressing this gene were challenged with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, which is a bacterial pathogen of brassicaceous plants.
- •Flowers of plant lines lacking (E)-β-caryophyllene emission showed greater bacterial growth on their stigmas than did wild-type flowers, and their seeds were lighter and misshapen. By contrast, plant lines with ectopic (E)-β-caryophyllene emission from vegetative parts were more resistant than wild-type plants to pathogen infection of leaves, and showed reduced cell damage and higher seed production. Based on in vitro experiments, (E)-β-caryophyllene seems to act by direct inhibition of bacterial growth, rather than by triggering defense signaling pathways.
- •(E)-β-Caryophyllene thus appears to serve as a defense against pathogens that invade floral tissues and, like other floral volatiles, may play multiple roles in defense and pollinator attraction.