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Primary carbon metabolism-related changes in cucumber exposed to single and sequential treatments with salt stress and bacterial infection

Chojak-Koźniewska, Joanna, Kuźniak, Elżbieta, Linkiewicz, Anna, Sowa, Sławomir
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2018 v.123 pp. 160-169
C3 plants, Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans, bacterial infections, carbon metabolism, chlorophyll, citrates, citric acid, cucumbers, defense mechanisms, enzyme activity, fluorescence, fumarate hydratase, gene expression, leaves, malates, pathogens, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, photosystem II, salt stress
This study examines how salt stress interacts with bacterial infection at the metabolic level. We measured chlorophyll a fluorescence as well as profiles of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), NADP-isocitrate dehydrogenase (NADP-ICDH) and fumarase activities, malic and citric acids contents and the expression of NADP-ICDH and NADP-ME in the organ-dependent (root vs leaves) response of cucumber plants exposed to individual or sequential action of salt stress (50 mM or 100 mM NaCl) and Pseudomonas syringae pv lachrymans (Psl). NaCl treatment, Psl infection and the combination of these stresses caused disturbances in the activity of photosystem II which were suggested to specifically transmit the stress signals. PEPC and NADP-ME were induced in cucumber plants under stress, confirming that in C3 plants they function in defence responses. The profiles of malate and citrate contents, PEPC as well as NADP-ICDH and NADP-ME activities and gene expression in response to a combination of salt and pathogen stresses differed from those provoked by individual stress with respect to the direction, intensity and timing. The results indicated that the most pronounced defence response related to the readjustment of the carbon metabolism was observed in the leaves of plants exposed to combined stress. Intense activity changes of NADPH-generating enzymes, NADP-ICDH and NADP-ME, characterized the tailored response to combined stress and could be important for the integration of defence mechanisms between organs.