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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Targeted Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Analyses of "Red Russian" Kale (Brassicae napus var. pabularia) Following Methyl Jasmonate Treatment and Larval Infestation by the Cabbage Looper (Trichoplusia ni Hübner)

Yu-Chun Chiu, John A Juvik, Kang-Mo Ku
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2018 April 2, 19 (4)
29614820
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA), synthesized in the jasmonic acid (JA) pathway, has been found to upregulate glucosinolate (GS) biosynthesis in plant species of the Brassicaceae family. Exogenous application of MeJA has shown to increase tissue GS concentrations and the formation of myrosinase-mediated GS hydrolysis products (GSHPs). In vitro and in vivo assays have demonstrated the potential health-promoting effects of certain GSHPs. MeJA is also known to elicit and induce genes associated with defense mechanisms to insect herbivory in Brassica species. To investigate the relationship between MeJA-induced GS biosynthesis and insect defense, three treatments were applied to "Red Russian" kale ( Brassicae napus var. pabularia ) seedlings: (1) a 250 µM MeJA leaf spray treatment; (2) leaf infestation with larvae of the cabbage looper ( Trichoplusia ni (Hübner)); (3) control treatment (neither larval infestation nor MeJA application). Samples of leaf tissue from the three treatments were then assayed for changes in GS and GSHP concentrations, GS gene biosynthesis expression, and myrosinase activity. Major differences were observed between the three treatments in the levels of GS accumulation and GS gene expression. The insect-damaged samples showed significantly lower aliphatic GS accumulation, while both MeJA and T. ni infestation treatments induced greater accumulation of indolyl GS. The gene expression levels of CYP81F4 , MYB34 , and MYB122 were significantly upregulated in samples treated with MeJA and insects compared to the control group, which explained the increased indolyl GS concentration. The results suggest that the metabolic changes promoted by MeJA application and the insect herbivory response share common mechanisms of induction. This work provides potentially useful information for kale pest control and nutritional quality.

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