Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Key genes in the JAZ signaling pathway are up-regulated faster and more abundantly in caterpillar-resistant maize.

Abstract

Jasmonic acid (JA) and its derivatives, collectively known as jasmonates (JAs), are important signaling hormones for plant responses against chewing herbivores. In JA signaling networks, jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins are transcriptional repressors that regulate JA-modulated downstream herbivore defenses. JAZ repressors are widely presented in land plants, however, there is only limited information about the regulation/function of JAZ proteins in maize. In this study, we performed a comprehensive expression analysis of ZmJAZ genes with other selected genes in the jasmonate pathway in response to feeding by fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda, FAW), mechanical wounding, and exogenous hormone treatments in two maize genotypes differing in FAW resistance. Results showed that transcript levels of JAZ genes and several key genes in JA-signaling and biosynthesis pathways were rapidly and abundantly expressed in both genotypes in response to these various treatments. However, there were key differences between the two genotypes in the expression of ZmJAZ1 and ZmCOI1a, these two genes were expressed significantly rapidly and abundantly in the resistant line which was tightly regulated by endogenous JA level upon feeding. For instance, transcript levels of ZmJAZ1 increase dramatically within 30 min of FAW-fed Mp708 but not Tx601, correlating with the JA accumulation. The results also demonstrated that wounding or JA treatment alone was not as effective as FAW feeding; this suggests that insect-derived factors are required for optimal defense responses.