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Dissecting the membrane-microtubule sensor in grapevine defence
Horticulture Research  (IF6.793),  Pub Date : 2021-12-01, DOI: 10.1038/s41438-021-00703-y
Pingyin Guan, Wenjing Shi, Michael Riemann, Peter Nick

Specific populations of plant microtubules cooperate with the plasma membrane to sense and process abiotic stress signals, such as cold stress. The current study derived from the question, to what extent this perception system is active in biotic stress signalling. The experimental system consisted of grapevine cell lines, where microtubules or actin filaments are visualised by GFP, such that their response became visible in vivo. We used the bacterial elicitors harpin (inducing cell-death related defence), or flg22 (inducing basal immunity) in combination with modulators of membrane fluidity, or microtubules. We show that DMSO, a membrane rigidifier, can cause microtubule bundling and trigger defence responses, including activation of phytoalexin transcripts. However, DMSO inhibited the gene expression in response to harpin, while promoting the gene expression in response to flg22. Treatment with DMSO also rendered microtubules more persistent to harpin. Paradoxically, Benzylalcohol (BA), a membrane fluidiser, acted in the same way as DMSO. Neither GdCl3, nor diphenylene iodonium were able to block the inhibitory effect of membrane rigidification on harpin-induced gene expression. Treatment with taxol stabilised microtubule against harpin but amplified the response of PAL transcripts. Therefore, the data support implications of a model that deploys specific responses to pathogen-derived signals.