JMJ14 encoded H3K4 demethylase modulates immune responses by regulating defence gene expression and pipecolic acid levels

New Phytol. 2020 Mar;225(5):2108-2121. doi: 10.1111/nph.16270. Epub 2019 Nov 11.


Epigenetic modifications have emerged as an important mechanism underlying plant defence against pathogens. We examined the role of JMJ14, a Jumonji (JMJ) domain-containing H3K4 demethylase, in local and systemic plant immune responses in Arabidopsis. The function of JMJ14 in local or systemic defence response was investigated by pathogen growth assays and by analysing expression and H3K4me3 enrichments of key defence genes using qPCR and ChIP-qPCR. Salicylic acid (SA) and pipecolic acid (Pip) levels were quantified and function of JMJ14 in SA- and Pip-mediated defences was analysed in Col-0 and jmj14 plants. jmj14 mutants were compromised in both local and systemic defences. JMJ14 positively regulates pathogen-induced H3K4me3 enrichment and expression of defence genes involved in SA- and Pip-mediated defence pathways. Consequently, loss of JMJ14 results in attenuated defence gene expression and reduced Pip accumulation during establishment of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Exogenous Pip partially restored SAR in jmj14 plants, suggesting that JMJ14 regulated Pip biosynthesis and other downstream factors regulate SAR in jmj14 plants. JMJ14 positively modulates defence gene expressions and Pip levels in Arabidopsis.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; H3K4me3; JMJ14; histone demethylase; pipecolic acid; plant immunity; salicylic acid (SA); systemic acquired resistance (SAR).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases* / genetics
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases* / metabolism
  • Pipecolic Acids*
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Immunity
  • Salicylic Acid / pharmacology


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Pipecolic Acids
  • JMJ14 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Jumonji Domain-Containing Histone Demethylases
  • pipecolic acid
  • Salicylic Acid