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A dual role for plant quinone reductases in host–fungus interaction

Authors

  • Eiri Heyno,

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    • Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
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    • Present address: Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) Saclay, iBiTec-S, CNRS UMR 8221, Service de Bioénergétique, Biologie Structurale et Mécanisme, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

  • Noam Alkan,

    1. Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
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  • Robert Fluhr

    1. Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
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Correspondence

Corresponding author,

e-mail: eiri.heyno@cea.fr

Abstract

Quinone reductases (QR, EC 1.5.6.2) are flavoproteins that protect organisms from oxidative stress. The function of plant QRs has not as yet been addressed in vivo despite biochemical evidence for their involvement in redox reactions. Here, using knock-out (KO) and overexpressing lines, we studied the protective role of two groups of Arabidopsis thaliana cytosolic QRs, Nqr (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase) and Fqr (flavodoxin-like quinone reductase), in response to infection by necrotrophic fungi. The KO lines nqr and fqr1 displayed significantly slower development of lesions of Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotium in comparison to the wild type (WT). Consistent with this observation, the overexpressing line FQR1+ was hypersensitive to the pathogens. Both the nqr and fqr1 displayed increased fluorescence of 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein, a reporter for reactive oxygen species in response to B. cinerea. Infection by B. cinerea was accompanied with increased Nqr and Fqr1 protein levels in the WT as revealed by western blotting. In addition, a marked stimulation of salicylic acid-sensitive transcripts and suppression of jasmonate-sensitive transcripts was observed in moderately wounded QR KO mutant leaves, a condition mimicking the early stage of infection. In contrast to the above observations, germination of conidia was accelerated on leaves of QR KO mutants in comparison with the WT and FQR1+. The same effect was observed in water-soluble leaf surface extracts. It is proposed that the altered interaction between B. cinerea and the QR mutants is a consequence of subtly altered redox state of the host, which perturbs host gene expression in response to environmental stress such as fungal growth.‬‬‬‬‬‬

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