Salicylic acid, jasmonate, and ethylene contribute to rice defense against white tip nematodes Aphelenchoides besseyi.
Plant hormones have a prominent place in the plant immune and defense mechanism. To gain more information about the plant hormone pathways involved in rice defense against nematodes, here, we studied the roles of three core hormones, namely, salicylic acid (SA), jasmonate (JA), and ethylene (ET) in rice defense to Aphelenchoides besseyi by using the susceptible variety, Nipponbare as well as the resistant variety Tetep. The data showed that Tetep exhibited pre- and post-invasion with suppression of nematode infection, development, and reproduction. The quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR analysis of plant hormone marker genes in the two cultivars clearly revealed that all the SA-related genes were downregulated in susceptible Nipponbare plants but were significantly upregulated in resistant Tetep plants at the flowering stage. The exogenous application of the SA analog, benzo-1,2,3-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and ethephon did induce rice resistance to A. besseyi, and the rice plants treated by hormone inhibitors increased susceptibility to A. besseyi. Similarly, corresponding transgenic biosynthesis or signaling mutants of those hormones also showed an increased susceptibility. Collectively, these results suggest that SA, JA, and ET play important defense roles in rice against A. besseyi.