Methyl jasmonate inhibition of root growth and induction of a leaf protein are decreased in an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant

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Staswick, Paul E.; Su, Wenpei; Howell, Stephen H.
Plant Sciences
article description
Jasmonic acid and its methyl ester, methyl jasmonate (MeJA), are plant signaling molecules that affect plant growth and gene expression. Primary root growth of wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings was inhibited 50% when seedlings were grown on agar medium containing 0.1 μM MeJA. An ethyl methanesulfonate mutant (jar1) with decreased sensitivity to MeJA inhibition of root elongation was isolated and characterized. Genetic data indicated the trait was recessive and controlled by a single Mendelian factor. MeJA induced polypeptides were detected in Arabidopsis leaves by antiserum to a MeJA-inducible vegetative storage protein from soybean. The induction of these proteins by MeJA in the mutant was at least 4-fold less in jar1 compared to wild type. In contrast, seeds of jar1 plants were more sensitive than wild type to inhibition of germination by abscisic acid. These results suggest that the defect in jar1 affects a general jasmonate response pathway, which may regulate multiple genes in different plant organs.