Rewiring of jasmonate and phytochrome B signalling uncouples plant growth-defense tradeoffs

Nat Commun. 2016 Aug 30;7:12570. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12570.


Plants resist infection and herbivory with innate immune responses that are often associated with reduced growth. Despite the importance of growth-defense tradeoffs in shaping plant productivity in natural and agricultural ecosystems, the molecular mechanisms that link growth and immunity are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that growth-defense tradeoffs mediated by the hormone jasmonate are uncoupled in an Arabidopsis mutant (jazQ phyB) lacking a quintet of Jasmonate ZIM-domain transcriptional repressors and the photoreceptor phyB. Analysis of epistatic interactions between jazQ and phyB reveal that growth inhibition associated with enhanced anti-insect resistance is likely not caused by diversion of photoassimilates from growth to defense but rather by a conserved transcriptional network that is hardwired to attenuate growth upon activation of jasmonate signalling. The ability to unlock growth-defense tradeoffs through relief of transcription repression provides an approach to assemble functional plant traits in new and potentially useful ways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Oxylipins / metabolism*
  • Phytochrome B / genetics
  • Phytochrome B / metabolism*
  • Plant Immunity / physiology*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Oxylipins
  • PHYB protein, Arabidopsis
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Phytochrome B
  • jasmonic acid