Nitric oxide-associated protein 1 (NOA1) is involved in various abiotic stress responses and is required for plant resistance to pathogen infections. However, the role of NOA1 in plant-herbivore interactions has not been explored. We created NOA1-silenced Nicotiana attenuata plants (irNaNOA1). Compared with wild-type (WT) plants, irNaNOA1 plants had highly decreased photosynthesis rates. We further examined various traits important for plant defense against its specialist herbivore Manduca sexta by treating WT and irNaNOA1 plants with mechanical wounding and M. sexta oral secretions (OS). NOA1-silenced plants showed elevated levels of herbivory-induced jasmonic acid (JA), but decreased JA-isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile) levels. The decreased JA-Ile levels did not result from compromised JAR (jasmonic acid resistant) activity in irNOA1 plants. Moreover, nitrogen-rich defensive compounds, nicotine and trypsin proteinase inhibitors, did not differ between WT and irNaNOA1 plants. In contrast, concentrations of most carbon-based defensive compounds were lower in these plants than in WT plants, although the levels of chlorogenic acid were not changed. Therefore, silencing NOA1 alters the allocation of carbon resources within the phenylpropanoid pathway. These data suggest the involvement of NOA1 in N. attenuata's defense against M. sexta attack, and highlight its role in photosynthesis, and biosynthesis of jasmonates and secondary metabolites.
Wünsche H, Baldwin IT, Wu J (2011) Silencing NOA1 elevates herbivory-induced jasmonic acid accumulation and compromises most of carbonbased defense metabolites in Nicotiana attenuata. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(8), 619-631.