Activation of phospholipase a by plant defense elicitors

Sreeganga Chandra, Peter F. Heinstein, Philip S. Low

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120 Scopus citations


Participation of phospholipase A (PLase A) in plant signal transduction has been documented for auxin stimulation of growth but not for elicitation of any plant defense response. In this paper, we report two independent assays for monitoring PLase A induction in plant cells and have used these assays to evaluate whether transduction of defense-related signals might require PLase A activation. Oligogalacturonic acid, a potent elicitor of the soybean (Glycine max) H2O2 burst, was unable to stimulate endogenous PLase A, suggesting that PLase A activation is not an obligate intermediate in the oligogalacturonic acid-induced burst pathway. In contrast, harpin and an extract from the pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae both stimulated the oxidative burst and promoted a rapid increase in PLase A activity. To evaluate the possible role of this inducible PLase A activity in transducing the oxidative burst, we tested the effect of chlorpromazine-HCl, a PLase A inhibitor on elicitor-stimulated burst activity. Pretreatment with chloropromazine was found to inhibit the H2O2 burst triggered by V. dahliae extract at the same concentration at which it blocked PLase A activation. In contrast, neither the harpin- nor oligogalacturonic acid-induced burst was altered by addition of chlorpromazine. These data suggest that PLase A stimulation may be important in certain elicitor-induced oxidative bursts (e.g. V. dahliae) and that other elicitors such as oligogalacturonic acid and harpin must operate through independent signaling intermediates to activate the same defense response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-986
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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