Enhanced Arabidopsis disease resistance against Botrytis cinerea induced by sulfur dioxide
Abstract Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) is a common air pollutant that has complex impacts on plants. The effect of prior exposure to 30mgm −3 SO 2 on defence against Botrytis cinerea ( B. cinerea ) in Arabidopsis thaliana and the possible mechanisms of action were investigated. The results indicated that pre-exposure to 30mgm −3 SO 2 resulted in significantly enhanced resistance to B. cinerea infection. SO 2 pre-treatment significantly enhanced the activities of defence-related enzymes including phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), β-1,3-glucanase (BGL) and chitinase (CHI). Transcripts of the defence-related genes PAL , PPO , PR2 , and PR3 , encoding PAL, PPO, BGL and CHI, respectively, were markedly elevated in Arabidopsis plants pre-exposed to SO 2 and subsequently inoculated with B. cinerea (SO 2 + treatment group) compared with those that were only treated with SO 2 (SO 2 ) or inoculated with B. cinerea (CK+). Moreover, SO 2 pre-exposure also led to significant increases in the expression levels of MIR393 , MIR160 and MIR167 in Arabidopsis . Meanwhile, the expression of known targets involved in the auxin signalling pathway, was negatively correlated with their corresponding miRNAs. Additionally, the transcript levels of the primary auxin-response genes GH3-like , BDL/IAA12 , and AXR3/IAA17 were markedly repressed. Our findings indicate that 30mgm −3 SO 2 pre-exposure enhances disease resistance against B. cinerea in Arabidopsis by priming defence responses through enhancement of defence-related gene expression and enzyme activity, and miRNA-mediated suppression of the auxin signalling pathway. Highlights Pre-exposure to 30mgm −3 SO 2 for 72h significantly enhances resistance to B. cinerea in Arabidopsis . The priming of defence response is essential for SO 2 -induced resistance against B. cinerea . miRNAs-mediated auxin signalling pathway might be important in SO2-induced disease resistance. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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