The fungus Verticillium longisporum is a soil-borne plant pathogen of increasing economic importance, and information on plant responses to it is limited. To identify the genes and components involved in the early stages of infection, transcripts in roots of V. longisporum-challenged Arabidopsis Col-0 and the susceptible NON-RACE SPECIFIC DISEASE RESISTANCE 1 (ndr1-1) mutant were compared using ATH1 gene chips. The analysis revealed altered transcript levels of several terpene biosynthesis genes, including the monoterpene synthase TPS23/27. When transgenic 35S:TPS23/27 and TPS23/27-amiRNA plants were monitored the over-expresser line showed enhanced fungal colonization whereas the silenced genotype was indistinguishable from Col-0. Transcript analysis of terpene biosynthesis genes suggested that only the TPS23/27 pathway is affected in the two transgenic genotypes. To confirm changes in monoterpene production, emitted volatiles were determined using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Levels of all identified TPS23/27 monoterpene products were significantly altered in the transgenic plants. A stimulatory effect on conidial germination and hyphal growth of V. longisporum was also seen in co-cultivation with 35S:TPS23/27 plants and upon exposure to 1,8-cineole, the main product of TPS23/27. Methyl jasmonate treatments of myc2-1 and myc2-2 mutants and analysis of TPS23/27:uidA in the myc2-2 background suggested a dependence on jasmonic acid mediated by the transcription factor MYC2. Taken together, our results show that TPS23/27-produced monoterpenes stimulate germination and subsequent invasion of V. longisporum in Arabidopsis roots.
Keywords: 1,8-cineole; Arabidopsis thaliana; MYC2; Verticillium longisporum; jasmonic acid; monoterpene synthase; root invasion; soil-borne pathogen.
© 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.