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Spermine Is a Potent Plant Defense Activator Against Gray Mold Disease on Solanum lycopersicum, Phaseolus vulgaris, and Arabidopsis thaliana

Seifi, Hamed S., Zarei, Adel, Hsiang, Tom, Shelp, Barry J.
Phytopathology 2019 v.109 no.8 pp. 1367-1377
Arabidopsis thaliana, Botrytis cinerea, Phaseolus vulgaris, Solanum lycopersicum, acid treatment, beans, fungi, gene expression regulation, genes, gray mold, hypersensitive response, leaves, reactive oxygen species, salicylic acid, spermine, stress response, synergism, systemic acquired resistance, tomatoes, transcriptomics
Polyamines (PAs) are ubiquitous aliphatic amines that play important roles in growth, development, and environmental stress responses in plants. In this study, we report that exogenous application of spermine (Spm) is effective in the induction of resistance to gray mold disease, which is caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea, on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and Arabidopsis thaliana. High throughput transcriptome analysis revealed a priming role for the Spm molecule in the genus Arabidopsis, resulting in strong upregulation of several important defense-associated genes, particularly those involved in systemic-acquired resistance. Microscopic analysis confirmed that Spm application potentiates endogenous defense responses in tomato leaves through the generation of reactive oxygen species and the hypersensitive response, which effectively contained B. cinerea growth within the inoculated area. Moreover, co-application of Spm and salicylic acid resulted in a synergistic effect against the pathogen, leading to higher levels of resistance than those induced by separate applications of the two compounds. The Spm plus salicylic acid treatment also reduced infection in systemic nontreated leaves of tomato plants. Our findings suggest that Spm, particularly when applied in combination with salicylic acid, functions as a potent plant defense activator that leads to effective local and systemic resistance against B. cinerea.