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Threonine deaminase (TD) catalyzes the conversion of Thr to alpha-keto butyrate in Ile biosynthesis; however, its dramatic upregulation in leaves after herbivore attack suggests a role in defense. In Nicotiana attenuata, strongly silenced TD transgenic plants were stunted, whereas mildly silenced TD transgenic plants had normal growth but were highly(More)
Jasmonic acid is an important regulator of plant growth, development and defense. The jasmonate-ZIM domain (JAZ) proteins are key regulators in jasmonate signaling ubiquitously present in flowering plants but their functional annotation remains largely incomplete. Recently, we identified 12 putative JAZ proteins in native tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, and(More)
BAK1 is a co-receptor of brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BRI1, and plays a well-characterized role in BR signalling. BAK1 also physically interacts with the flagellin receptor FLS2 and regulates pathogen resistance. The role of BAK1 in mediating Nicotiana attenuata's resistance responses to its specialist herbivore, Manduca sexta, was examined here. A(More)
Plant volatiles are the metabolites that plants release into the air. The quantities released are not trivial. Almost one-fifth of the atmospheric CO2 fixed by land plants is released back into the air each day as volatiles. Plants are champion synthetic chemists; they take advantage of their anabolic prowess to produce volatiles, which they use to protect(More)
BACKGROUND Some plants distinguish mechanical wounding from herbivore attack by recognizing specific constituents of larval oral secretions (OS) which are introduced into plant wounds during feeding. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs) are major constituents of Manduca sexta OS and strong elicitors of herbivore-induced defense responses in Nicotiana(More)
Plants may "eavesdrop" on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by herbivore-attacked neighbors to activate defenses before being attacked themselves. Transcriptome and signal cascade analyses of VOC-exposed plants suggest that plants eavesdrop to prime direct and indirect defenses and to hone competitive abilities. Advances in research on VOC(More)
Plants produce metabolites that directly decrease herbivore performance, and as a consequence, herbivores are selected for resistance to these metabolites. To determine whether these metabolites actually function as defenses requires measuring the performance of plants that are altered only in the production of a certain metabolite. To date, the defensive(More)
A plant-specific family of WRKY transcription factors regulates plant responses to pathogens and abiotic stresses. Here, we identify two insect-responsive WRKY genes in the native tobacco Nicotiana attenuata: WRKY3, whose transcripts accumulate in response to wounding, and WRKY6, whose wound responses are significantly amplified when fatty acid-amino acid(More)
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling plays a central role in transducing extracellular stimuli into intracellular responses, but its role in mediating plant responses to herbivore attack remains largely unexplored. When Manduca sexta larvae attack their host plant, Nicotiana attenuata, the plant's wound response is reconfigured at(More)
BACKGROUND After transformation, plants that are homozygous and contain one copy of the transgene are typically selected for further study. If real-time PCR is to be used to determine copy number and zygosity, it must be able to distinguish hemizygous from homozygous and one-copy from two-copy plants. That is, it must be able to detect two-fold differences.(More)