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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Resistance of cultivated tomato to cell content-feeding herbivores is regulated by the octadecanoid-signaling pathway.

The octadecanoid signaling pathway has been shown to play an important role in plant defense against various chewing insects and some pathogenic fungi. Here, we examined the interaction of a cell-content feeding arachnid herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch), with cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and an isogenic mutant line (defenseless-1 [def-1]) that is deficient in the biosynthesis of the octadecanoid pathway-derived signal, jasmonic acid ( JA). Spider mite feeding and fecundity on def-1 plants was significantly greater than on wild-type plants. Decreased resistance of def-1 plants was correlated with reduced JA accumulation and expression of defensive proteinase inhibitor (PI) genes, which were induced in mite-damaged wild-type leaves. Treatment of def-1 plants with methyl- JA restored resistance to spider mite feeding and reduced the fecundity of female mites. Plants expressing a 35S::prosystemin transgene that constitutively activates the octadecanoid pathway in a Def-1-dependent manner were highly resistant to attack by spider mites and western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), another cell-content feeder of economic importance. These findings indicate that activation of the octadecanoid signaling pathway promotes resistance of tomato to a broad spectrum of herbivores. The techniques of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and bulk segregant analysis were used to map the Def-1 gene to a region on the long arm of chromosome 3 that is genetically separable from the map position of known JA biosynthetic genes. Tight linkage of Def-1 to a T-DNA insertion harboring the maize (Zea mays) Dissociation transposable element suggests a strategy for directed transposon tagging of the gene.[1]


  1. Resistance of cultivated tomato to cell content-feeding herbivores is regulated by the octadecanoid-signaling pathway. Li, C., Williams, M.M., Loh, Y.T., Lee, G.I., Howe, G.A. Plant Physiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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