Vitamin Bx-mediated induced resistance against Cucumber mosaic virus and Xanthomonas axonopodis in the pepper field
Abstract: The use of vitamins including vitamin B1, B2 and K3 for the induction of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) to protect crops against plant pathogens has been evaluated previously. The use of vitamins is beneficial because it is cost effective and safe for the environment. We previously reported the use of folate precursors including ortho-aminobenzoic acid for the induction of SAR against a soft-rot pathogen in tobacco. In the present study, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA, also referred to as vitamin Bx) was selected owing to its effect on the induction of SAR against Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vesicatoria in pepper plants through greenhousescreening. Dipping of pepper seedlings in a 1 mM PABA solution in field trials induced SAR against artificially infiltrated X. axonopodis pv. vesicatoria and naturally-occurring Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Expression of the Capsicum annuum pathogenesis-related 4 gene was primed in response to pathogen infection as assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. The accumulation of CMV RNA was reduced in PABA-treated pepper plants at 40 and 105 days post treatment. Unexpectedly, fruit yield was increased in PABA-treated plants, indicating that PABA-mediated SAR successfully protected pepper plants from infection by bacterial and viral pathogens without significant fitness allocation costs. The present study is the first to demonstrate the effective elicitation of SAR by a folate precursor under field conditions.