Callose deposition: a multifaceted plant defense response

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2011 Feb;24(2):183-93. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-07-10-0149.


Callose deposition in Arabidopsis has emerged as a popular model system to quantify activity of plant immunity. However, there has been a noticeable rise in contradicting reports about the regulation of pathogen-induced callose. To address this controversy, we have examined the robustness of callose deposition under different growth conditions and in response to two different pathogen-associated molecular patterns, the flagellin epitope Flg22 and the polysaccharide chitosan. Based on a commonly used hydroponic culture system, we found that variations in growth conditions have a major impact on the plant's overall capacity to deposit callose. This environmental variability correlated with levels of hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) production. Depending on the growth conditions, pretreatment with abscissic acid stimulated or repressed callose deposition. Despite a similar effect of growth conditions on Flg22- and chitosan-induced callose, both responses showed differences in timing, tissue responsiveness, and colocalization with H₂O₂. Furthermore, mutant analysis revealed that Flg22- and chitosan-induced callose differ in the requirement for the NADPH oxidase RBOHD, the glucosinolate regulatory enzymes VTC1 and PEN2, and the callose synthase PMR4. Our study demonstrates that callose is a multifaceted defense response that is controlled by distinct signaling pathways, depending on the environmental conditions and the challenging pathogen-associated molecular pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Chitosan / pharmacology
  • Epitopes / toxicity
  • Flagellin / toxicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Glucans / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Plant Diseases / immunology
  • Seedlings
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Glucans
  • Flagellin
  • Chitosan
  • callose
  • Hydrogen Peroxide