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Arabidopsis MYC transcription factors are the target of hormonal salicylic acid/jasmonic acid cross talk in response to Pieris brassicae egg extract.
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Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants recognize insect eggs and activate the salicylic acid (SA) pathway. As a consequence, expression of defense genes regulated by the jasmonic acid (JA) pathway is suppressed and larval performance is enhanced. Cross talk between defense signaling pathways is common in plant-pathogen interactions, but the molecular mechanism mediating this phenomenon is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that egg-induced SA/JA antagonism works independently of the APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR (AP2/ERF) transcription factor ORA59, which controls the ERF branch of the JA pathway. In addition, treatment with egg extract did not enhance expression or stability of JASMONATE ZIM-domain transcriptional repressors, and SA/JA cross talk did not involve JASMONATE ASSOCIATED MYC2-LIKEs, which are negative regulators of the JA pathway. Investigating the stability of MYC2, MYC3, and MYC4, three basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that additively control jasmonate-related defense responses, we found that egg extract treatment strongly diminished MYC protein levels in an SA-dependent manner. Furthermore, we identified WRKY75 as a novel and essential factor controlling SA/JA cross talk. These data indicate that insect eggs target the MYC branch of the JA pathway and uncover an unexpected modulation of SA/JA antagonism depending on the biological context in which the SA pathway is activated.
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