Plant hormones are paramount to plant adaptation to changing environmental conditions and interactions with microorganisms. There is currently limited knowledge on their significance in the response to stress combination. Using near isogenic lines (NILs) that carry the Ol-1, ol-2 and Ol-4 gene for resistance to tomato powdery mildew caused by Oidium neolycopersici, this study focused on the responses of these NILs to powdery mildew and salt stress combination. In these NILs, marker genes for monitoring hormonal pathways showed differential expression pattern upon powdery mildew infection. Further by crossing these NILs with tomato mutants notabilis (ABA-deficient), defenseless1 (JA-deficient) and epinastic (ET overproducer) the cross-talk among hormonal pathways was further investigated. Among the mutants, epinastic resulted in increased susceptibility of NIL-Ol-1 and breakdown of NIL-ol-2 resistance, accompanied by reduced callose deposition, effects that were more pronounced under combination with salt stress. On the other hand notabilis, resulting in H2O2 overproduction greatly reduced susceptibility of NIL-Ol-1 under combined stress accompanied however by heightened sensitivity to salt stress. Callose deposition reduction led to partial resistance breakdown in NIL-ol-2 which was reversed under combined stress. NIL-Ol-4 resistance remained robust across all mutant and treatment combinations. We discuss the critical role that hormone signalling appears to have for the outcome of combined stress and powdery mildew in terms of resistance and plant fitness integrating observations from physiological, histochemical and gene expression analyses. These significant insights obtained extend our understanding of hormonal regulation of combined stress responses and can aid in narrowing down targets for improving crop performance under stress combinations.
|Date made available||2016|
|Temporal coverage||2013 - 2014|