Silicon modulates multi-layered defense against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis
Parson, James F.
Wang, L., Dong, M., Zhang, Q. et al. Silicon modulates multi-layered defense against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis. Phytopathol Res 2, 7 (2020).
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Silicon (Si) has been widely employed in agriculture to enhance resistance against pathogens in many crop plants. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of Si-mediated resistance remain elusive. In this study, the Arabidopsis-powdery mildew pathosystem was employed to investigate possible defense mechanisms of Si-mediated resistance. Because Arabidopsis lacks efficient Si transporters and thus is a low Si-accumulator, two heterologous Si influx transporters (from barley and muskmelon) were individually expressed in wild-type Arabidopsis Col-0 and a panel of mutants defective in different immune signaling pathways. Results from infection tests showed that while very low leaf Si content slightly induced salicylic acid (SA)-dependent resistance, high Si promoted PAD4-dependent but largely EDS1- and SA-independent resistance against the adapted powdery mildew isolate Golovinomyces cichoracearum UCSC1. Intriguingly, our results also showed that high Si could largely reboot non-host resistance in an immune-compromised eds1/pad4/sid2 triple mutant background against a non-adapted powdery mildew isolate G. cichoracearum UMSG1. Taken together, our results suggest that assimilated Si modulates distinct, multi-layered defense mechanisms to enhance plant resistance against adapted and no-adapted powdery mildew pathogens, possibly via synergistic interaction with defense-induced callose.