Rapid Accumulation of Trihydroxy Oxylipins and Resistance to the Bean Rust Pathogen Uromyces fabae Following Wounding in Vicia faba

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Background and Aims

Insect damage to plants leads to wound-activated responses directed to healing of damaged tissues, as well as activation of defences to prevent further insect damage. Negative cross-talk exists between the jasmonic acid-based signalling system that is activated upon insect attack and the salicylic acid-based system frequently activated following pathogen infection. Thus, insect attack may compromise the ability of the plant to defend itself against pathogens and vice versa. However, insect herbivory and mechanical wounding have been shown to reduce fungal infections on some plants, although the underlying mechanisms remain to be defined. This work examines the effects of mechanical wounding on rust infection both locally and systemically in the broad bean, Vicia faba and follows changes in oxylipins in wounded leaves and unwounded leaves on wounded plants.


The lamina of first leaves was wounded by crushing with forceps, and first and second leaves were then inoculated, separately, with the rust Uromyces fabae at various times over a 24 h period. Wounded first leaves and unwounded second leaves were harvested at intervals over a 24 h period and used for analysis of oxylipin profiles.

Key Results

Mechanical wounding of first leaves of broad bean led to significantly reduced rust infection in the wounded first leaf as well as the unwounded second leaf. Increased resistance to infection was induced in plants inoculated with rust just 1 h after wounding and was accompanied by rapid and significant accumulation of jasmonic acid and two trihydroxy oxylipins in both wounded first leaves and unwounded second leaves. The two trihydroxy oxylipins were found to possess antifungal properties, reducing germination of rust spores.


These results demonstrate the rapidity with which resistance to pathogen infection can be induced following wounding and provides a possible mechanism by which pathogen infection might be halted.

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