First paper in 2015 published
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) was tested by seed treatment for its ability to protect tomato seedlings against fusarium wilt caused by the soil-borne fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici. Isolated from Solanum lycopersicon L. seeds, cv. Beta fungus was identified as F. oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici Race 3 fungus by using phytopathological and molecular methods. MeJA applied at 0.01, 0.1 and 1 mM reduced spore germination and mycelial growth in vitro. Soaking of tomato seeds in MeJA solution at 0.1 mM for 1 h significantly enhanced the resistance level against the tested fungus in tomato seedlings 4 weeks after inoculation. The extracts from leaves of 15-day-old seedlings obtained from previously MeJA soaked seeds had the ability to inhibit in vitro spore germination of tested fungus. In these seedlings a significant increase in the levels phenolic compounds such as salicylic acid (SA), kaempferol and quercetin was observed. Up-regulation of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL5) and benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (BSMT) genes and down-regulation of the isochorysmate synthase (ICS) gene in response to exogenous MeJA application indicate that the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), not the isochorismate (IC) pathway, is the primary route for SA production in tomato. Moreover, the increased accumulation of the flavonols quercetin and kaempferol appears closely related to the increase of PAL5, chalcone synthase (CHS) and flavonol synthase/flavanone 3-hydroxylase-like (FLS) genes. Elevated levels of salicylic acid in seedlings raised from MeJA-soaked seeds were simultaneously accompanied by a decrease of jasmonic acid, the precursor of MeJA, and an increase of 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), the precursor of jasmonic acid. The present results indicate that the priming of tomato seeds with 0.1 mM MeJA before sowing enables the seedlings grown from these seeds to reduce the attack of the soil-borne fungal pathogen F. oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici, so it can be applied in practice.