Analysis of the transcriptome of the needles and bark of Pinus radiata induced by bark stripping and methyl jasmonate
Background: Plants are attacked by diverse insect and mammalian herbivores and respond with different physical and chemical defences. Transcriptional changes underlie these phenotypic changes. Simulated herbivory has been used to study the transcriptional and other early regulation events of these plant responses. In this study, constitutive and induced transcriptional responses to artificial bark stripping are compared in the needles and the bark of Pinus radiata to the responses from application of the plant stressor, methyl jasmonate. The time progression of the responses was assessed over a 4-week period.
Results: Of the 6312 unique transcripts studied, 86.6% were differentially expressed between the needles and the bark prior to treatment. The most abundant constitutive transcripts were related to defence and photosynthesis and their expression did not differ between the needles and the bark. While no differential expression of transcripts were detected in the needles following bark stripping, in the bark this treatment caused an up-regulation and down-regulation of genes associated with primary and secondary metabolism. Methyl jasmonate treatment caused differential expression of transcripts in both the bark and the needles, with individual genes related to primary metabolism more responsive than those associated with secondary metabolism. The up-regulation of genes related to sugar break-down and the repression of genes related with photosynthesis, following both treatments was consistent with the strong down-regulation of sugars that has been observed in the same population. Relative to the control, the treatments caused a differential expression of genes involved in signalling, photosynthesis, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as defence and water stress. However, non-overlapping transcripts were detected between the needles and the bark, between treatments and at different times of assessment. Methyl jasmonate induced more transcriptional responses in the bark than bark stripping, although the peak of expression following both treatments was detected 7 days post treatment application. The effects of bark stripping were localised, and no systemic changes were detected in the needles.
Conclusion: There are constitutive and induced differences in the needle and bark transcriptome of Pinus radiata. Some expression responses to bark stripping may differ from other biotic and abiotic stresses, which contributes to the understanding of plant molecular responses to diverse stresses. Whether the gene expression changes are heritable and how they differ between resistant and susceptible families identified in earlier studies needs further investigation.
Australian Research Council
Hancock Victorian Plantations Pty Ltd
Radiata Pine Breeding Co Ltd
Scion New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited
Timberlands Pacific Pty Ltd
Publication titleBMC Genomics
Department/SchoolSchool of Natural Sciences
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
Place of publicationMiddlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland St, London, England, W1T 4Lb
Rights statementCopyright 2022 The Author(s) Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/