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Author ORCID ID is 000000031715990X
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  1. Plant immune responses mediated by the hormone jasmonoyl- l -isoleucine (JA-Ile) are metabolically costly and often linked to reduced growth. Although it is known that JA-Ile activates defense responses by triggering the degradation of JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) transcriptional repressor proteins, expansion of the JAZ gene family in vascular plants has hampered efforts to understand how this hormone impacts growth and other physiological tasks over the course of ontogeny. Here, we combined mutations within the 13-member Arabidopsis JAZ gene family to investigate the effects of chronic JAZ deficiency on growth, defense, and reproductive output. A higher-order mutant ( jaz decuple,more » jazD ) defective in 10 JAZ genes ( JAZ1 – 7 , -9 , -10 , and -13 ) exhibited robust resistance to insect herbivores and fungal pathogens, which was accompanied by slow vegetative growth and poor reproductive performance. Metabolic phenotypes of jazD discerned from global transcript and protein profiling were indicative of elevated carbon partitioning to amino acid-, protein-, and endoplasmic reticulum body-based defenses controlled by the JA-Ile and ethylene branches of immunity. Resource allocation to a strong defense sink in jazD leaves was associated with increased respiration and hallmarks of carbon starvation but no overt changes in photosynthetic rate. Depletion of the remaining JAZ repressors in jazD further exaggerated growth stunting, nearly abolished seed production and, under extreme conditions, caused spreading necrotic lesions and tissue death. Our results demonstrate that JAZ proteins promote growth and reproductive success at least in part by preventing catastrophic metabolic effects of an unrestrained immune response.« less
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  3. SENSITIVE TO FREEZING2 (SFR2) is crucial for protecting chloroplast membranes following freezing in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). It has been shown that SFR2 homologs are present in all land plants, including freezing-sensitive species, raising the question of SFR2 function beyond freezing tolerance. Similar to freezing, salt and drought can cause dehydration. Thus, it is hypothesized that in freezing-sensitive plants SFR2 may play roles in their resilience to salt or drought. To test this hypothesis, SlSFR2 RNAi lines were generated in the cold/freezing-sensitive species tomato (Solanum lycopersicum [M82 cv]). Hypersensitivity to salt and drought of SlSFR2-RNAi lines was observed. Higher tolerance ofmore » wild-type tomatoes was correlated with the production of trigalactosyldiacylglycerol, a product of SFR2 activity. Tomato SFR2 in vitro activity is Mg 2+-dependent and its optimal pH is 7.5, similar to that of Arabidopsis SFR2, but the specific activity of tomato SFR2 in vitro is almost double that of Arabidopsis SFR2. When salt and drought stress were applied to Arabidopsis, no conditions could be identified at which SFR2 was induced prior to irreversibly impacting plant growth, suggesting that SFR2 protects Arabidopsis primarily against freezing. Discovery of tomato SFR2 function in drought and salt resilience provides further insights into general membrane lipid remodeling-based stress tolerance mechanisms and together with protection against freezing in freezing-resistant plants such as Arabidopsis, it adds lipid remodeling as a possible target for the engineering of abiotic stress-resilient crops.« less

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