Induction of plant virus defense response by brassinosteroids and brassinosteroid signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana

Da-Wei Zhang, Xing-Guang Deng, Fa-Qiong Fu, Hong-Hui Lin
Planta 2015, 241 (4): 875-85
Our study demonstrated that CMV resistance was upregulated by brassinosteroids (BRs) treatment, and BR signaling was needed for this BRs-induced CMV tolerance. Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play essential roles in variety of plant developmental processes and adaptation to various biotic and abiotic stresses. BR signal through plasma membrane-localized receptor and other components to modulate several transcription factors that modulate thousands of target genes including certain stress-responsive genes. To study the effects of BRs on plant virus defense and how BRs induce plant virus stress tolerance, we manipulated the BRs levels in Arabidopsis thaliana and found that BRs levels were positively correlated with the tolerance to Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). We also showed that BRs treatment alleviated photosystem damage, enhanced antioxidant enzymes activity and induced defense-associated genes expression under CMV stress in Arabidopsis. To see whether BR signaling is essential for the plant virus defense response, we made use of BR signaling mutants (a weak allele of the BRs receptor mutant bri1-5 and constitutive BRs response mutant bes1-D). Compared with wild-type Arabidopsis plants, bri1-5 displayed reversed tolerance to CMV, but the resistance was enhanced in bes1-D. Together our results suggest that BRs can induce plant virus defense response through BR signaling.

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