The protein phosphatase subunit PP2A-B′γ is required to suppress day length-dependent pathogenesis responses triggered by intracellular oxidative stress



  • Oxidative stress responses are influenced by growth day length, but little is known about how this occurs. A combined reverse genetics, metabolomics and proteomics approach was used to address this question in Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • A catalase-deficient mutant (cat2), in which intracellular oxidative stress drives pathogenesis-related responses in a day length-dependent manner, was crossed with a knockdown mutant for a specific type 2A protein phosphatase subunit (pp2a-b′γ). In long days (LD), the pp2a-b′γ mutation reinforced cat2-triggered pathogenesis responses.
  • In short days (SD), conditions in which pathogenesis-related responses were not activated in cat2, the additional presence of the pp2a-b′γ mutation allowed lesion formation, PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENE1 (PR1) induction, salicylic acid (SA) and phytoalexin accumulation and the establishment of metabolite profiles that were otherwise observed in cat2 only in LD. Lesion formation in cat2 pp2a-b′γ in SD was genetically dependent on SA synthesis, and was associated with decreased PHYTOCHROME A transcripts. Phosphoproteomic analyses revealed that several potential protein targets accumulated in the double mutant, including recognized players in pathogenesis and key enzymes of primary metabolism.
  • We conclude that the cat2 and pp2a-b′γ mutations interact synergistically, and that PP2A-B′γ is an important player in controlling day length-dependent responses to intracellular oxidative stress, possibly through phytochrome-linked pathways.