Reactive electrophilic oxylipins trigger a heat stress-like response through HSFA1 transcription factors

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Abiotic and biotic stresses are often characterized by an induction of reactive electrophile species (RES) such as the jasmonate 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) or the structurally related phytoprostanes. Previously, RES oxylipins have been shown massively to induce heat-shock-response (HSR) genes including HSP101 chaperones. Moreover, jasmonates have been reported to play a role in basal thermotolerance. We show that representative HSR marker genes are strongly induced by RES oxylipins through the four master regulator transcription factors HSFA1a, b, d, and e essential for short-term adaptation to heat stress in Arabidopsis. When compared with Arabidopsis seedlings treated at the optimal acclimation temperature of 37 °C, the exogenous application of RES oxylipins at 20 °C induced a much weaker induction of HSP101 at both the gene and protein expression levels which, however, was not sufficient to confer short-term acquired thermotolerance. Moreover, jasmonate-deficient mutant lines displayed a wild-type-like HSR and were not compromised in acquiring thermotolerance. Hence, the OPDA- and RES oxylipin-induced HSR is not sufficient to protect seedlings from severe heat stress but may help plants to cope better with stresses associated with protein unfolding by inducing a battery of chaperones in the absence of heat.

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