Agrobacterium TumefaciensPromotes Tumor Induction By Modulating Pathogen Defense InArabidopsis Thaliana
Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease by transferring and integrating bacterial DNA (T-DNA) into the plant genome. To examine the physiological changes and adaptations during Agrobacterium-induced tumor development, we compared the profiles of salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), jasmonic acid (JA), and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid [IAA]) with changes in the Arabidopsis thaliana transcriptome. Our data indicate that host responses were much stronger toward the oncogenic strain C58 than to the disarmed strain GV3101 and that auxin acts as a key modulator of the Arabidopsis–Agrobacterium interaction. At initiation of infection, elevated levels of IAA and ET were associated with the induction of host genes involved in IAA, but not ET signaling. After T-DNA integration, SA as well as IAA and ET accumulated, but JA did not. This did not correlate with SA-controlled pathogenesis-related gene expression in the host, although high SA levels in mutant plants prevented tumor development, while low levels promoted it. Our data are consistent with a scenario in which ET and later on SA control virulence of agrobacteria, whereas ET and auxin stimulate neovascularization during tumor formation. We suggest that crosstalk among IAA, ET, and SA balances pathogen defense launched by the host and tumor growth initiated by agrobacteria.