Canadian Forest Service Publications

Activation of stress-responsive mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa x Populus deltoides). 2005. Hamel, L.P.; Mikes, G.P.; Samuel, M.A.; Ellis, B.E.; Séguin, A.; Beaudoin, N. Tree Physiol. 25: 277-288.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25380

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Plant mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are important amplifying modules that can rapidly transduce stress signals into various appropriate intracellular responses. Several extracellular regulated kinase (ERK)-type MAPKs involved in plant defense signaling have been identifie in herbaceous species, but no MAPK cascade has yet been characterized in a tree species. We examined the signal transduction events that lead to activation of defense mechanisms in poplar, a major forest species of economic and ecological importance which is becoming the model tree system for studying stress and adaptation responses. We showthat, in poplar cell suspensions and leaf tissue, chitosan, a non-host-specific elicitor, and ozone, a strong oxidant and atmospheric pollutant, induce rapid and transient activation of at least two myelin basic protein (MBP) kinases with apparent molecular masses of 44 and 47 kD. The chitosan- and ozone-activated kinases have characteristics of MAPKs: they preferentially phosphorylate MBP, require tyrosine and threonine phosphorylation to be activated and are specifically recognized by anti-ERK and anti-pERK antibodies. Moreover, activation of these poplar MAPKs by chitosan or ozone is dependent on the production of reactive oxygen species; the influx of calcium ions via membrane channels; the activation of an upstream, membrane-localized component; and a cognate MAPK kinase (MAPKK). These data suggest that biotic and abiotic challenges activate MAPKs in poplar, as in herbaceous species, which then function as a convergence point for for pathogen defense and oxidant stress signaling cascades.