JOURNAL ARTICLE

ML3: a novel regulator of herbivory-induced responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

Ingela Fridborg, Anna Johansson, Johanna Lagensjö, Natthanon Leelarasamee, Kristyna Floková, Danuse Tarkowská, Johan Meijer, Sarosh Bejai
Journal of Experimental Botany 2013, 64 (4): 935-48
23314818
ML (MD2-related lipid recognition) proteins are known to enhance innate immune responses in mammals. This study reports the analysis of the putative ML gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana and suggests a role for the ML3 gene in herbivory-associated responses in plants. Feeding by larvae of the Lepidopteran generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis and larvae of the specialist herbivore Plutella xylostella activated ML3 transcription in leaf tissues. ML3 loss-of-function Arabidopsis plants were compromised in the upregulation of herbivory-induced genes and displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. Herbivory bioassays showed that larvae of S. littoralis fed on ml3 mutant plants gained more weight compared to larvae fed on wild-type plants while larvae of P. xylostella did not show any significant difference. Virus-induced gene silencing of ML3 expression in plants compromised in jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) signalling revealed a complex role of ML3 in JA/defence signalling affecting both JA- and SA-dependent responses. The data suggest that ML3 is involved in herbivory-mediated responses in Arabidopsis and that it has a potential role in herbivory-associated molecular pattern recognition.

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