Increasing concentrations of ozone (O3) in the troposphere affect many organisms and their interactions with each other. To analyze the changes in a plant-pathogen interaction, soybean plants were infected with Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) while they were fumigated with O3. In otherwise natural field conditions, elevated O3 treatment slowed systemic infection and disease development by inducing a nonspecific resistance against SMV for a period of 3 weeks. During this period, the negative effect of virus infection on light-saturated carbon assimilation rate was prevented by elevated O3 exposure. To identify the molecular basis of a soybean nonspecific defense response, high-throughput gene expression analysis was performed in a controlled environment. Transcripts of fungal, bacterial, and viral defenserelated genes, including PR-1, PR-5, PR-10, and EDS1, as well as genes of the flavonoid biosynthesis pathways (and concentrations of their end products, quercetin and kaempherol derivatives) increased in response to elevated O3. The drastic changes in soybean basal defense response under altered atmospheric conditions suggest that one of the elements of global change may alter the ecological consequences and, eventually, coevolutionary relationship of plant-pathogen interactions in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science