DOI: 10.1093/plphys/kiae148 ISSN: 0032-0889

Metabolic crosstalk between hydroxylated monoterpenes and salicylic acid in tomato defense response against bacteria

Julia Pérez-Pérez, Samuel Minguillón, Elías Kabbas-Piñango, Celia Payá, Laura Campos, Manuel Rodríguez-Concepción, Ana Espinosa-Ruiz, Ismael Rodrigo, José María Bellés, María Pilar López-Gresa, Purificación Lisón
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Physiology


Hydroxylated monoterpenes (HMTPs) are differentially emitted by tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants resisting bacterial infection. We have studied the defensive role of these volatiles in the tomato response to bacteria, whose main entrance are through stomatal apertures. Treatments with some HMTPs resulted in stomatal closure and pathogenesis-related protein 1 (PR1) induction. Particularly, α-terpineol induced stomatal closure in a salicylic acid (SA) and abscisic acid-independent manner and conferred resistance to bacteria. Interestingly, transgenic tomato plants overexpressing or silencing the monoterpene synthase MTS1, which displayed alterations in the emission of HMTPs, exhibited changes in the stomatal aperture but not in plant resistance. Measures of both 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclopyrophosphate (MEcPP) and SA levels revealed competition for MEcPP by the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway and SA biosynthesis activation, thus explaining the absence of resistance in transgenic plants. These results were confirmed by chemical inhibition of the MEP pathway, which alters MEcPP levels. Treatments with BTH, a SA functional analogue, conferred enhanced resistance to transgenic tomato plants overexpressing MTS1. Additionally, these MTS1 overexpressors induced PR1 gene expression and stomatal closure in neighbouring plants. Our results confirm the role of HMTPs in both intra and inter-plant immune signalling and reveal a metabolic crosstalk between the MEP and SA pathways in tomato plants.

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