J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (5): 1102-1115.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13248

• Plant Biotic Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The jasmonate-induced bHLH gene SlJIG functions in terpene biosynthesis and resistance to insects and fungus

Yunyun Cao1,2†, Lun Liu1†, Kangsheng Ma3†, Wenjing Wang1, Hongmei Lv1, Ming Gao1, Xinman Wang1, Xichun Zhang4, Shuxin Ren5, Na Zhang1,6* and Yang‐Dong Guo1,6*   

  1. 1 College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2 College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, China
    3 Hubei Insect Resources Utilization and Sustainable Pest Management Key Laboratory, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
    4 College of Plant Science and Technology, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China
    5 School of Agriculture, Virginia State University, Petersburg 23806, VA, USA
    6 Sanya Institute of China Agricultural University, Sanya 572000, China

    The authors contribute equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Na Zhang( zhangna_cau@163.com, Dr. Zhang is fully responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article); Yang-Dong Guo (yaguo@cau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-01-28 Accepted:2022-03-14 Online:2022-03-16 Published:2022-05-01


Jasmonic acid (JA) is a key regulator of plant defense responses. Although the transcription factor MYC2, the master regulator of the JA signaling pathway, orchestrates a hierarchical transcriptional cascade that regulates the JA responses, only a few transcriptional regulators involved in this cascade have been described. Here, we identified the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), METHYL JASMONATE (MeJA)-INDUCED GENE (SlJIG), the expression of which was strongly induced by MeJA treatment. Genetic and molecular biology experiments revealed that SlJIG is a direct target of MYC2. SlJIG knockout plants generated by gene editing had lower terpene contents than the wild type from the lower expression of TERPENE SYNTHASE (TPS) genes, rendering them more appealing to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera). Moreover, SlJIG knockouts exhibited weaker JA-mediated induction of TPSs, suggesting that SlJIG may participate in JA-induced terpene biosynthesis. Knocking out SlJIG also resulted in attenuated expression of JA-responsive defense genes, which may contribute to the observed lower resistance to cotton bollworm and to the fungus Botrytis cinerea. We conclude that SlJIG is a direct target of MYC2, forms a MYC2-SlJIG module, and functions in terpene biosynthesis and resistance against cotton bollworm and B. cinerea.

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