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N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid is a mobile signal that induces systemic disease resistance in Arabidopsis

By Yun Chu Chen, Eric C. Holmes, Jakub Rajniak, Jung-Gun Kim, Sandy Tang, Curt R. Fischer, Mary Beth Mudgett, Elizabeth S. Sattely

Posted 25 Mar 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/288449 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1805291115)

Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a global response in plants induced at the site of infection that leads to long-lasting and broad-spectrum disease resistance at distal, uninfected tissues. Despite the importance of this priming mechanism, the identity of the mobile defense signal that moves systemically throughout plants to initiate SAR has remained elusive. In this paper, we describe a new metabolite, N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid (N-OH-Pip), and provide evidence that this molecule is a mobile signal that plays a central role in initiating SAR signal transduction in Arabidopsis thaliana. We demonstrate that FLAVIN-DEPENDENT MONOOXYGENASE 1 (FMO1), a key regulator of SAR-associated defense priming, can synthesize N-OH-Pip from pipecolic acid in planta, and exogenously applied N-OH-PIP moves systemically in Arabidopsis and can rescue the SAR-deficiency of fmo1 mutants. We also demonstrate that N-OH-Pip treatment causes systemic changes in the expression of pathogenesis-related genes and metabolic pathways throughout the plant, and enhances resistance to a bacterial pathogen. This work provides new insight into the chemical nature of a mobile signal for SAR and also suggests that the N-OH-Pip pathway is a promising target for metabolic engineering to enhance disease resistance.

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