Molecular crosstalk between PAMP-triggered immunity and photosynthesis

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2012 Aug;25(8):1083-92. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-11-11-0301.


The innate immune system allows plants to respond to potential pathogens in an appropriate manner while minimizing damage and energy costs. Photosynthesis provides a sustained energy supply and, therefore, has to be integrated into the defense against pathogens. Although changes in photosynthetic activity during infection have been described, a detailed and conclusive characterization is lacking. Here, we addressed whether activation of early defense responses by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) triggers changes in photosynthesis. Using proteomics and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, we show that activation of defense by PAMPs leads to a rapid decrease in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). Conversely, NPQ also influences several responses of PAMP-triggered immunity. In a mutant impaired in NPQ, apoplastic reactive oxygen species production is enhanced and defense gene expression is differentially affected. Although induction of the early defense markers WRKY22 and WRKY29 is enhanced, induction of the late markers PR1 and PR5 is completely abolished. We propose that regulation of NPQ is an intrinsic component of the plant's defense program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / genetics
  • Chloroplasts / immunology
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Disease Resistance / immunology
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Flagellin / metabolism
  • Flagellin / pharmacology
  • Fluorescence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology*
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / genetics
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Photosynthesis / immunology*
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / genetics
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • NPQ4 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Transcription Factors
  • WRKY22 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Flagellin
  • Chlorophyll