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Free Content Gene activation by UV light, fungal elicitor or fungal infection in Petroselinum crispum is correlated with repression of cell cycle-related genes

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The effects of UV light or fungal elicitors on plant cells have so far been studied mostly with respect to defense-related gene activation. Here, an inverse correlation of these stimulatory effects with the activities of several cell cycle-related genes is demonstrated. Concomitant with the induction of flavonoid biosynthetic enzymes in UV-irradiated cell suspension cultures of parsley (Petroselinum crispum), total histone synthesis declined to about half the initial rate. A subclass of the histone H3 gene family was selected to demonstrate the close correlation of its expression with cell division, both in intact plants and cultured cells. Using RNA-blot and run-on transcription assays, it was shown that one arbitrarily selected subclass of each of the histone H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 gene families and of the genes encoding a p34cdc2 protein kinase and a mitotic cyclin were transcriptionally repressed in UV-irradiated as well as fungal elicitor-treated parsley cells. The timing and extent of repression differed between the two stimuli; the response to light was more transient and smaller in magnitude. These differential responses to light and elicitor were inversely correlated with the induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, a key enzyme of phenylpropanoid metabolism. Essentially the same result was obtained with a defined oligopeptide elicitor, indicating that the same signaling pathway is responsible for defense-related gene activation and cell cycle-related gene repression. A temporary (UV light) or long-lasting (fungal elicitor) cessation of cell culture growth is most likely due to an arrest of cell division which may be a prerequisite for full commitment of the cells to transcriptional activation of pathways involved in UV protection or pathogen defense. This conclusion is corroborated by the observation that the histone H3 mRNA level greatly declined around fungal infection sites in young parsley leaves.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Abteilung Biochemie, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany 2: Universität Freiburg, Biologisches Institut II, Schänzlestr. 1, 79104 Freiburg, Germany

Publication date: December 1, 1995

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