The induction of plant defense-related responses by chitin oligomers and the Rhizobium meliloti lipo-chito-oligosaccharide nodulation signals (Nod factors) in Medicago cell cultures and roots was investigated by following the expression of genes encoding enzymes of the isoflavonoid biosynthetic pathway, such as chalcone synthase, chalcone reductase, isoflavone reductase, as well as genes encoding a pathogenesis-related protein and a peroxidase. In suspension-cultured cells, all genes except the peroxidase gene were induced by both the R. meliloti Nod factor NodRm-IV(C16:2,S) and chitin oligomers with a minimum of three sugar residues. However, activation of these genes was not elicited by the symbiotically inactive, desulfated NodRm-IV(C16:2). Moreover, the cells were more sensitive to the chitin oligosaccharides than to the Nod factor. Analysis of flavonoids in medicago microcallus cultures revealed differences between cells treated with N-acetylchitotetraose and those treated with Nod factor and demonstrated increased production of the phytoalexin medicarpin in the presence of Nod factor. In Medicago roots, none of the tested genes was activated by the N-acetylchitotetraose, whereas the Nod factor at micromolar concentration enhanced transient expression of the isoflavonoid biosynthetic genes. The differential responses to Nod factors and chitin oligomers suggest that Medicago cells possess distinct perception systems for these related molecules.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology