Methyl jasmonate treatment, aphid resistance assay, and transcriptomic analysis revealed different herbivore defensive roles between tobacco glandular and non-glandular trichomes

Plant Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 13. doi: 10.1007/s00299-021-02801-6. Online ahead of print.


Methyl jasmonate treatment and aphid resistance assays reveal different roles in herbivore defensive responses between tobacco glandular and non-glandular trichomes. These roles correlate with trichome gene expression patterns. In plants, trichomes greatly contribute to biotic stress resistance. To better understand the different defensive functions between glandular and non-glandular trichomes, we used Nicotiana tabacum as a model. This species bears three types of trichomes: long and short stalk glandular trichomes (LGT and SGT, respectively), and non-glandular trichomes (NGT). Tobacco accession T.I.1068 (lacking NGT) and T.I.1112 (lacking LGT) were used for the experiment. After methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment, LGT formation was promoted not only in T.I.1068, but also in T.I.1112, whereas NGT remained absent in T.I.1068, and was slightly reduced in T.I.1112. Diterpenoids, which play important roles in herbivore resistance, accumulated abundantly in T.I.1068 and were elevated by MeJA; however, they were not found in T.I.1112 but became detectable after MeJA treatment. The aphid resistance of T.I.1068 was higher than that of T.I.1112, and both were enhanced by MeJA, which was closely correlated with LGT density. Trichomes detached from T.I.1068 and T.I.1112 were used for RNA-Seq analysis, the results showed that pentose phosphate, photosynthesis, and diterpenoid biosynthesis genes were much more expressed in T.I.1068 than in T.I.1112, which was consistent with the vigorous diterpenoid biosynthesis in T.I.1068. In T.I.1112, citrate cycle, propanoate, and glyoxylate metabolism processes were enriched, and some defensive protein genes were expressed at higher levels than those in T.I.1068.These results suggested that LGT plays a predominant role in aphid resistance, whereas NGT could strengthen herbivore resistance by accumulating defensive proteins, and the roles of LGT and NGT are associated with their gene expression patterns.

Keywords: Aphid resistance; Glandular trichome; Methyl jasmonate; Nicotiana tabacum; Non-glandular trichome.