The DELLA Protein SLR1 Integrates and Amplifies Salicylic Acid- and Jasmonic Acid-Dependent Innate Immunity in Rice.Plant Physiol. 2016 Mar; 170(3):1831-47.PP
Gibberellins are a class of tetracyclic plant hormones that are well known to promote plant growth by inducing the degradation of a class of nuclear growth-repressing proteins, called DELLAs. In recent years, GA and DELLAs are also increasingly implicated in plant responses to pathogen attack, although our understanding of the underlying mechanisms is still limited, especially in monocotyledonous crop plants. Aiming to further decipher the molecular underpinnings of GA- and DELLA-modulated plant immunity, we studied the dynamics and impact of GA and DELLA during infection of the model crop rice (Oryza sativa) with four different pathogens exhibiting distinct lifestyles and infection strategies. Opposite to previous findings in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), our findings reveal a prominent role of the DELLA protein Slender Rice1 (SLR1) in the resistance toward (hemi)biotrophic but not necrotrophic rice pathogens. Moreover, contrary to the differential effect of DELLA on the archetypal defense hormones salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in Arabidopsis, we demonstrate that the resistance-promoting effect of SLR1 is due at least in part to its ability to boost both SA- and JA-mediated rice defenses. In a reciprocal manner, we found JA and SA treatment to interfere with GA metabolism and stabilize SLR1. Together, these findings favor a model whereby SLR1 acts as a positive regulator of hemibiotroph resistance in rice by integrating and amplifying SA- and JA-dependent defense signaling. Our results highlight the differences in hormone defense networking between rice and Arabidopsis and underscore the importance of GA and DELLA in molding disease outcomes.