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Fusarium oxysporum hijacks COI1-mediated jasmonate signaling to promote disease development in Arabidopsis

Thatcher, Louise F., Manners, John M., Kazan, Kemal
Plant journal 2009 v.58 no.6 pp. 927-939
Arabidopsis thaliana, DNA, Fusarium oxysporum, biosynthesis, culture filtrates, death, disease resistance, fungi, genes, jasmonic acid, leaves, lifestyle, microscopy, mutants, necrosis, oxylipins, pathogens, plant development, rootstocks, tissues, vascular wilt
Although defense responses mediated by the plant oxylipin jasmonic acid (JA) are often necessary for resistance against pathogens with necrotrophic lifestyles, in this report we demonstrate that jasmonate signaling mediated through COI1 in Arabidopsis thaliana is responsible for susceptibility to wilt disease caused by the root-infecting fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Despite compromised JA-dependent defense responses, the JA perception mutant coronatine insensitive 1 (coi1), but not JA biosynthesis mutants, exhibited a high level of resistance to wilt disease caused by F. oxysporum. This response was independent from salicylic acid-dependent defenses, as coi1/NahG plants showed similar disease resistance to coi1 plants. Inoculation of reciprocal grafts made between coi1 and wild-type plants revealed that coi1-mediated resistance occurred primarily through the coi1 rootstock tissues. Furthermore, microscopy and quantification of fungal DNA during infection indicated that coi1-mediated resistance was not associated with reduced fungal penetration and colonization until a late stage of infection, when leaf necrosis was highly developed in wild-type plants. In contrast to wild-type leaves, coi1 leaves showed no necrosis following the application of F. oxysporum culture filtrate, and showed reduced expression of senescence-associated genes during disease development, suggesting that coi1 resistance is most likely achieved through the inhibition of F. oxysporum-incited lesion development and plant senescence. Together, our results indicate that F. oxysporum hijacks non-defensive aspects of the JA-signaling pathway to cause wilt-disease symptoms that lead to plant death in Arabidopsis.