Protecting tobacco plants from O3 injury by Bacillus velezensis with production of acetoin.Physiol Plant. 2020 May 09 [Online ahead of print]PP
Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) confer benefits to crops by producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to trigger induced systemic tolerance (IST). Here we show that Bacillus velezensis GJ11, a kind of PGPRs, produce VOCs such as 2,3-butanediol and acetoin to trigger IST and cause stomatal closure against O3 injury in tobacco plants. Compared to 2,3-butanediol, acetoin was more effective on triggering IST against O3 injury. The bdh-knockout strain GJ11Δbdh with a blocked metabolic pathway from acetoin to 2,3-butanediol produced more acetoin triggering stronger IST against O3 injury than GJ11. Both acetoin and GJ11Δbdh effectively enhance the antioxidant enzymes activity (e.g. superoxide dismutase and catalases) that is favorable for scavenging the reactive oxygen species like H2 O2 in leaves after exposure to O3 . Consequently, less H2 O2 accumulation was observed, and reasonably less chlorophylls and proteins were damaged by H2 O2 in the tobacco leaves treated with acetoin or GJ11Δbdh. The field experiment also showed that both acetoin and GJ11Δbdh could protect tobacco plants from O3 injury after application by root-drench. This study provides new insights into the role of rhizobacterial B. velezensis and its volatile component of acetoin in triggering defense responses against stresses such as O3 in plants.