Activation of the indole-3-acetic acid-amido synthetase GH3-8 suppresses expansin expression and promotes salicylate- and jasmonate-independent basal immunity in rice.Plant Cell. 2008 Jan; 20(1):228-40.PC
New evidence suggests a role for the plant growth hormone auxin in pathogenesis and disease resistance. Bacterial infection induces the accumulation of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), the major type of auxin, in rice (Oryza sativa). IAA induces the expression of expansins, proteins that loosen the cell wall. Loosening the cell wall is key for plant growth but may also make the plant vulnerable to biotic intruders. Here, we report that rice GH3-8, an auxin-responsive gene functioning in auxin-dependent development, activates disease resistance in a salicylic acid signaling- and jasmonic acid signaling-independent pathway. GH3-8 encodes an IAA-amino synthetase that prevents free IAA accumulation. Overexpression of GH3-8 results in enhanced disease resistance to the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae. This resistance is independent of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid signaling. Overexpression of GH3-8 also causes abnormal plant morphology and retarded growth and development. Both enhanced resistance and abnormal development may be caused by inhibition of the expression of expansins via suppressed auxin signaling.