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The cuticle: Not only a barrier for plant defence: A novel defence syndrome in plants with cuticular defects.
Plant Signaling and Behavior
The cuticle is a physical barrier that prevents water loss and protects against irradiation, xenobiotics and pathogens. This classic textbook statement has recently been revisited and several observations were made showing that this dogma falls short of being universally true. Both transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines expressing cell wall-targeted fungal cutinase (so-called CUTE plants) or lipase as well as several A. thaliana mutants with altered cuticular structure remained free of symptoms after an inoculation with Botrytis cinerea. The alterations in cuticular structure lead to the release of fungitoxic substances and changes in gene expression that form a multifactorial defence response. Several models to explain this syndrome are discussed.
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