Canadian Forest Service Publications

MYC transcription factors coordinate tryptophan-dependent defense responses and compromise seed yield in Arabidopsis. 2022. Guo, Q.; Major, I.T.; Kapali, G.; Howe, G.A. New Phytologist volume 236, pages 132-145

Year: 2022

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40940

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1111/nph.18293

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Robust plant immunity negatively affects other fitness traits, including growth and seed production. Jasmonate (JA) confers broad-spectrum protection against plant consumers by stimulating the degradation of JASMONATE ZIM-DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins, which in turn relieves repression on transcription factors (TFs) coincident with reduced growth and fecundity. The molecular mechanisms underlying JA-mediated decreases in fitness remain largely unknown.

To assess the contribution of MYC TFs to growth and reproductive fitness at high levels of defence, we mutated three MYC genes in a JAZ-deficient mutant (jazD) of Arabidopsis thaliana that exhibits strong defence and low seed yield.

Genetic epistasis analysis showed that de-repression of MYC TFs in jazD not only conferred strong resistance to insect herbivory but also reduced shoot and root growth, fruit size and seed yield. We also provided evidence that the JAZ–MYC module coordinates the supply of tryptophan with the production of indole glucosinolates and the proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum bodies that metabolise glucosinolates through the action of b-glucosidases.

Our results establish MYCs as major regulators of growth- and reproductive–defence tradeoffs and further indicate that these factors coordinate tryptophan availability with the production of amino acid-derived defence compounds.