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O-methyltransferase(s)-suppressed plants produce lower amounts of phenolic vir inducers and are less susceptible to Agrobacterium tumefaciens infection

Abstract : The first step of Agrobacterium tumefaciens/plant interaction corresponds to the activation of a transduction pathway of the bacterium by plant exudate. Phenolic compounds rapidly secreted by wounded plant cells induce the expression of bacterial virulence (vir) genes; however, little is known about their biosynthesis in plant. Here we show that inoculation of an Agrobacterium tumefaciens virulent strain on orthodiphenol-O-methyltransferases-suppressed tobacco plants leads to significantly smaller tumors compared to control plants. These transgenic plants are inhibited for caffeic acid O-methyltransferase class I or II (OMT; EC 2.1.1.6) and/or caffeoyl-coenzyme A O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT; EC 2.1.1.104) that are involved in monolignol biosynthesis. The significant decrease of tumor size could be suppressed by the pre-activation of bacterial virulence, before inoculation, using acetosyringone a known vir inducer. Total soluble phenolic amounts and cell wall composition analyzed by FT-IR analysis did not show significant differences between transgenic and control plants. The potential of phenolic extracts from control and OMT-suppressed plants to induce virulence was evaluated using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens reporter strain carrying a vir::LacZ gene fusion plasmid. Lower vir-inducing activities were recorded for plants that show inhibition to caffeic acid O-methyltransferase activity. HPLC analysis confirmed that the levels of several phenolic compounds were differently affected by wounding and/or by bacterial inoculation. Statistical correlations were established between tumor sizes, vir-inducing activities, O-methyltransferases proteins accumulations and the levels of various soluble phenolic compounds such as acetosyringone. These results demonstrate the role of the O-methyltransferases of the phenylpropanoid pathway in the early production of soluble Agrobacterium tumefaciens vir inducers.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 11:28:38 PM
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Stéphane Maury, A. Delaunay, François Mesnard, David Crônier, Brigitte Chabbert, et al.. O-methyltransferase(s)-suppressed plants produce lower amounts of phenolic vir inducers and are less susceptible to Agrobacterium tumefaciens infection. Planta, Springer Verlag, 2010, 232 (4), pp.975-986. ⟨10.1007/s00425-010-1230-x⟩. ⟨hal-02660429⟩

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