Volatile compounds from beneficial or pathogenic bacteria differentially regulate root exudation, transcription of iron transporters, and defense signaling pathways in Sorghum bicolor
Our results show that Sorghum bicolor is able to recognize bacteria through its volatile compounds and differentially respond to beneficial or pathogens via eliciting nutritional or defense adaptive traits.
Plants establish beneficial, harmful, or neutral relationships with bacteria. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) emit volatile compounds (VCs), which may act as molecular cues influencing plant development, nutrition, and/or defense. In this study, we compared the effects of VCs produced by bacteria with different lifestyles, including Arthrobacter agilis UMCV2, Bacillus methylotrophicus M4-96, Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, the plant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, and the commensal rhizobacterium Bacillus sp. L2-64, on S. bicolor. We show that VCs from all tested bacteria, except Bacillus sp. L2-64, increased biomass and chlorophyll content, and improved root architecture, but notheworthy A. agilis induced the release of attractant molecules, whereas P. aeruginosa activated the exudation of growth inhibitory compounds by roots. An analysis of the expression of iron-transporters SbIRT1, SbIRT2, SbYS1, and SbYS2 and genes related to plant defense pathways COI1 and PR-1 indicated that beneficial, pathogenic, and commensal bacteria could up-regulate iron transporters, whereas only beneficial and pathogenic species could induce a defense response. These results show how S. bicolor could recognize bacteria through their volatiles profiles and highlight that PGPR or pathogens can elicit nutritional or defensive traits in plants.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11103-017-0694-5
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