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Berens, M. L.; Wolinska, K. W.; Spaepen, S.; Ziegler, J.; Nobori, T.; Nair, A.; Krüler, V.; Winkelmüller, T. M.; Wang, Y.; Mine, A.; Becker, D.; Garrido-Oter, R.; Schulze-Lefert, P.; Tsuda, K. Balancing trade-offs between biotic and abiotic stress responses through leaf age-dependent variation in stress hormone cross-talk Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 116, 2364-2373, (2019) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1817233116

In nature, plants must respond to multiple stresses simultaneously, which likely demands cross-talk between stress-response pathways to minimize fitness costs. Here we provide genetic evidence that biotic and abiotic stress responses are differentially prioritized in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves of different ages to maintain growth and reproduction under combined biotic and abiotic stresses. Abiotic stresses, such as high salinity and drought, blunted immune responses in older rosette leaves through the phytohormone abscisic acid signaling, whereas this antagonistic effect was blocked in younger rosette leaves by PBS3, a signaling component of the defense phytohormone salicylic acid. Plants lacking PBS3 exhibited enhanced abiotic stress tolerance at the cost of decreased fitness under combined biotic and abiotic stresses. Together with this role, PBS3 is also indispensable for the establishment of salt stress- and leaf age-dependent phyllosphere bacterial communities. Collectively, our work reveals a mechanism that balances trade-offs upon conflicting stresses at the organism level and identifies a genetic intersection among plant immunity, leaf microbiota, and abiotic stress tolerance.

Schüler, G.; Mithöfer, A.; Baldwin, I.T.; Berger, S.; Ebel, S.; Santos, J.G.; Herrmann, G.; Hölscher, D.; Kramell, R.; Kutchan, T.M.; Maucher, H.; Schneider, B.; Stenzel, I.; Wasternack, C.; Boland, W. Coronalon: a powerful tool in plant stress physiology FEBS Lett. 563, 17-22, (2004) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00239-X

Coronalon, a synthetic 6-ethyl indanoyl isoleucine conjugate, has been designed as a highly active mimic of octadecanoid phytohormones that are involved in insect and disease resistance. The spectrum of biological activities that is affected by coronalon was investigated in nine different plant systems specifically responding to jasmonates and/or 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid. In all bioassays analyzed, coronalon demonstrated a general strong activity at low micromolar concentrations. The results obtained showed the induction of (i) defense-related secondary metabolite accumulation in both cell cultures and plant tissues, (ii) specific abiotic and biotic stress-related gene expression, and (iii) root growth retardation. The general activity of coronalon in the induction of plant stress responses together with its simple and efficient synthesis suggests that this compound might serve as a valuable tool in the examination of various aspects in plant stress physiology. Moreover, coronalon might become employed in agriculture to elicit plant resistance against various aggressors.
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