Salicylic acid and gentisic acid induce RNA silencing-related genes and plant resistance to RNA pathogens.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB / Societe francaise de physiologie vegetale

PubMedID: 24531234

Campos L, Granell P, Tárraga S, López-Gresa P, Conejero V, Bellés JM, Rodrigo I, Lisón P. Salicylic acid and gentisic acid induce RNA silencing-related genes and plant resistance to RNA pathogens. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2014;77C35-43.
We have observed that treatments with salicylic acid (SA) or gentisic acid (GA) induced resistance to RNA pathogens such as ToMV and CEVd in tomato and Gynura auriantiaca, respectively. Accumulation of SA and GA has been found to occur in plants infected by these pathogens, thus pointing out a possible defence role of both molecules. To study the molecular basis of the observed induced resistance to RNA pathogens the induction of silencing-related genes by SA and GA was considered. For that purpose, we searched for tomato genes which were orthologous to those described in Arabidopsis thaliana, such as AtDCL1, AtDCL2, AtDCL4, AtRDR1, AtRDR2 and AtRDR6, and we tracked their induction in tomato along virus and viroid infections. We observed that CEVd significantly induced all these genes in tomato, with the exception of ToRDR6, being the induction of ToDCL4 the most outstanding. Regarding the ToMV asymptomatic infection, with the exception of ToRDR2, we observed a significant induction of all the indicated silencing-related genes, being ToDCL2 the most induced gene. Subsequently, we analyzed their transcriptional activation by SA and at the time when ToMV was inoculated on plants. ToDCL2, ToRDR1 and ToRDR2 were significantly induced by both SA and GA, whereas ToDCL1 was only induced by SA. Such an induction resulted more effective by SA treatment, which is in agreement with the stronger SA-induced resistance observed. Our results suggest that the observed delay in the RNA pathogen accumulation could be due to the pre-induction of RNA silencing-related genes by SA or GA.