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Homoserine lactones influence the reaction of plants to rhizobia

: Zarkani, A.A.; Stein, E.; Röhrich, C.R.; Schikora, M.; Evguenieva-Hackenberg, E.; Degenkolb, T.; Vilcinskas, A.; Klug, G.; Kogel, K.-H.; Schikora, A.


International journal of molecular sciences 14 (2013), No.8, pp.17122-17146
ISSN: 1422-0067
ISSN: 1661-6596
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()
Fraunhofer FKIE ()

Bacterial quorum sensing molecules not only grant the communication within bacterial communities, but also influence eukaryotic hosts. N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) produced by pathogenic or beneficial bacteria were shown to induce diverse reactions in animals and plants. In plants, the reaction to AHLs depends on the length of the lipid side chain. Here we investigated the impact of two bacteria on Arabidopsis thaliana, which usually enter a close symbiosis with plants from the Fabaceae (legumes) family and produce a long-chain AHL (Sinorhizobium meliloti) or a short-chain AHL (Rhizobium etli). We demonstrate that, similarly to the reaction to pure AHL molecules, the impact, which the inoculation with rhizosphere bacteria has on plants, depends on the type of the produced AHL. The inoculation with oxo-C14-HSL-producing S. meliloti strains enhanced plant resistance towards pathogenic bacteria, whereas the inoculation with an AttM lactonase-expressing S. meliloti strain did not. Inoculation with the oxo-C8-HSL-producing R. etli had no impact on the resistance, which is in agreement with our previous hypothesis. In addition, plants seem to influence the availability of AHLs in the rhizosphere. Taken together, this report provides new insights in the role of N-acyl-homoserine lactones in the inter-kingdom communication at the root surface.