An altered tocopherol composition in chloroplasts reduces plant resistance to Botrytis cinerea

Jana Cela, John Tweed, Anushen Sivakumaran, Michael Richard Lee, Luis Mur, Sergi Munné-Bosch

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23 Citations (SciVal)


Tocopherols are lipid-soluble antioxidants that contribute to plant resistance to abiotic stresses. However, it is still unknown to what extent alterations in tocopherol composition can affect the plant response to biotic stresses. The response to bacterial and fungal attack of the vte1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, which lacks both α- and γ-tocopherol, was compared to that of the vte4 mutant (which lacks α- but accumulates γ-tocopherol) and the wild type (with accumulates α-tocopherol in leaves). Both mutants exhibited similar kinetics of cell death and resistance in response to Pseudomonas syringae. In contrast, both mutants exhibited delayed resistance when infected with Botrytis cinerea. Lipid and hormonal profiling was employed with the aim of assessing the underlying cause of this differential phenotype. Although an altered tocopherol composition in both mutants strongly influenced fatty acid composition, and strongly altered jasmonic acid and cytokinin contents upon infection with B. cinerea, differences between genotypes in these phytohormones were observed during late stages of infection only. By contrast, genotype-related effects on lipid peroxidation, as indicated by malondialdehyde accumulation, were observed early upon infection with B. cinerea. We conclude that an altered tocopherol composition in chloroplasts may negatively influence the plant response to biotic stress in Arabidopsis thaliana through changes in the membrane fatty acid composition, enhanced lipid peroxidation and delayed defence activation when challenged with B. cinerea
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Early online date28 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2018


  • biotic stress
  • hormonal balance
  • Jasmonic acid
  • lipid profile
  • tocopherols


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