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Science 323 (5910): 101-106

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

A Glucosinolate Metabolism Pathway in Living Plant Cells Mediates Broad-Spectrum Antifungal Defense

Pawel Bednarek,1* Mariola Pislewska-Bednarek,1 Ales Svatos,2 Bernd Schneider,2 Jan Doubsky,2 Madina Mansurova,2{dagger} Matt Humphry,1 Chiara Consonni,1 Ralph Panstruga,1 Andrea Sanchez-Vallet,3 Antonio Molina,3 Paul Schulze-Lefert1*

Abstract: Selection pressure exerted by insects and microorganisms shapes the diversity of plant secondary metabolites. We identified a metabolic pathway for glucosinolates, known insect deterrents, that differs from the pathway activated by chewing insects. This pathway is active in living plant cells, may contribute to glucosinolate turnover, and has been recruited for broad-spectrum antifungal defense responses. The Arabidopsis CYP81F2 gene encodes a P450 monooxygenase that is essential for the pathogen-induced accumulation of 4-methoxyindol-3-ylmethylglucosinolate, which in turn is activated by the atypical PEN2 myrosinase (a type of β-thioglucoside glucohydrolase) for antifungal defense. We propose that reiterated enzymatic cycles, controlling the generation of toxic molecules and their detoxification, enable the recruitment of glucosinolates in defense responses.

1 Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Max Planck Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany.
2 Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Beutenberg Campus, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, D-07745 Jena, Germany.
3 Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Campus Montegancedo, E-28223-Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), Spain.

{dagger} Present address: Max Planck Institut für Bioanorganische Chemie, Stiftstrasse 34–36, D-45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: schlef{at} (P.S.-L.); bednarek{at} (P.B.)

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