β-aminobutyric acid induces the accumulation of pathogenesis-related proteins in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants and resistance to late blight infection caused by Phytophthora infestans

Yigal Cohen, Tierry Niderman, Egon Mösinger, Robert Fluhr

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    Abstract

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants were sprayed with aqueous solutions of isomers of aminobutyric acid and were either analyzed for the accumulation of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins or challenged with the late blight fungal agent Phytophthora infestans. The β isomer of aminobutyric acid induced the accumulation of high levels of three proteins: P14a, β-1,3 glucanase, and chitinase. These proteins either did not accumulate or accumulated to a much lower level in α- or γ-aminobutyric acid-treated plants. Plants pretreated with α-, β-, and γ-aminobutyric acid were protected up to 11 d to an extent of 35, 92, and 6%, respectively, against a challenge infection with P. infestans. Protection by β-aminobutyric acid was afforded against the blight even when the chemical was applied 1 d postinoculation. Examination of ethylene evolution showed that α-aminobutyric acid induced the production of 3-fold higher levels of ethylene compared with β-aminobutyric acid, whereas γ-aminobutyric acid induced no ethylene production. In addition, silver thiosulfate, a potent inhibitor of ethylene action, did not abolish the resistance induced by β-aminobutyric acid. The results are consistent with the possibility that β-aminobutyric acid protects tomato foliage against the late blight disease by a mechanism that is not mediated by ethylene and that PR proteins can be involved in induced resistance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-66
    Number of pages8
    JournalPlant Physiology
    Volume104
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1994

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