J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (7): 993-1002.DOI: 10.1111/j.1672-9072.2007.00478.x

• Stress & Phytochemistry • Previous Articles    

Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora Infection Induced “Defense Lignin” Accumulation and Lignin Biosynthetic Gene Expression in Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L.ssp. pekinensis)

Song-He Zhang, Qing Yang and Rong-Cai Ma   

Abstract: Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora (Ecc) infects and causes soft rot disease in hundreds of crop species including vegetables, flowers and fruits. Lignin biosynthesis has been implicated in defensive reactions to injury and pathogen infection in plants. In this work, variations of lignin content and gene expression in the molecular interaction between Chinese cabbage and Ecc were investigated. H2O2 accumulation and peroxidase activity were detected by 3, 3 -Dimethoxybenzidine staining at mocked and Ecc-inoculated sites of Chinese cabbage leafstalks. Klason lignin content in inoculated plants increased by about 7.84%, 40.37%, and 43.13% more than that of the mocked site at 12, 24 and 72 h after inoculation, respectively. Gas chromatography detected more p-coumaryl (H) and less coniferyl (G) and sinapyl (S) monolignins in leafstalks of Chinese cabbage. All threemonomers increased in Ecc-infected leafstalks, and the Ecc-induced “defense lignin” were composed of more G and H monolignins, and less S monolignin. After searching the expressed sequence tags (EST) data of Chinese cabbage, 12 genes putatively encoding enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis were selected to study their expression. All of these genes could be induced by mock inoculation and Ecc infection, while the gene expression lasted for several more hours in the infected samples than in mocked and untreated plants. Our results indicated that “defense lignin” was different from the developmental lignin in composition; G and S monolignins were significantly induced in plants in response to the soft rot Ecc; thus, lignin biosynthesis was differentially regulated and played a role in plant response to the soft rot Ecc.

Key words: Chinese cabbage, Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora, expressed sequence tags, gene expression, lignin

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