Aboveground insect infestation attenuates belowground Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation

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Aboveground insect infestation attenuates belowground Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation
Geun Cheol Song; Soohyun Lee; Jaehwa Hong; Hye Kyung Choi; G H Hong; D W Bae; K S Mysore; Yong-Soon Park; Choong-Min Ryu
Bibliographic Citation
New Phytologist, vol. 207, no. 1, pp. 148-158
Publication Year
Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease. Although Agrobacterium can be popularly used for genetic engineering, the influence of aboveground insect infestation on Agrobacterium induced gall formation has not been investigated. Nicotiana benthamiana leaves were exposed to a sucking insect (whitefly) infestation and benzothiadiazole (BTH) for 7 d, and these exposed plants were inoculated with a tumorigenic Agrobacterium strain. We evaluated, both in planta and in vitro, how whitefly infestation affects crown gall disease. Whitefly-infested plants exhibited at least a two-fold reduction in gall formation on both stem and crown root. Silencing of isochorismate synthase 1 (ICS1), required for salicylic acid (SA) synthesis, compromised gall formation indicating an involvement of SA in whitefly-derived plant defence against Agrobacterium. Endogenous SA content was augmented in whitefly-infested plants upon Agrobacterium inoculation. In addition, SA concentration was three times higher in root exudates from whitefly-infested plants. As a consequence, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of roots of whitefly-infested plants was clearly inhibited when compared to control plants. These results suggest that aboveground whitefly infestation elicits systemic defence responses throughout the plant. Our findings provide new insights into insect-mediated leaf-root intra-communication and a framework to understand interactions between three organisms: whitefly, N. benthamiana and Agrobacterium.
AgrobacteriumCrown gallMultitrophic interactionsSalicylic acid (SA)Transformation efficiencyWhitefly infestation
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Division of Research on National Challenges > Infectious Disease Research Center > 1. Journal Articles
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