Magnesium oxide nanoparticles induce systemic resistance in tomato against bacterial wilt disease

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Bacterial wilt is a serious problem affecting many important food crops. Recent studies have indicated that treatment with biotic or abiotic stress factors may increase the resistance of plants to bacterial infection. This study investigated the effects of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO NP) on disease resistance in tomato plants against Ralstonia solanacearum, as well as its antibacterial activity. The roots of tomato seedlings were inoculated with R. solanacearum and then immediately treated with MgO NP; the treated plants showed very little inhibition of bacterial wilt. In contrast, when roots were drenched with a MgO NP suspension prior to inoculation with the pathogen, the incidence of disease was significantly reduced. Rapid generation of reactive oxygen species such as O2−. radicals was observed in tomato roots treated with MgO NP. Further O2−. was rapidly generated when tomato plant extracts or polyphenols were added to the MgO NP suspension, suggesting that the generation of O2−. in tomato roots might be due to a reaction between MgO NP and polyphenols present in the roots. Salicylic acid-inducible PR1, jasmonic acid-inducible LoxA, ethylene-inducible Osm, and systemic resistance-related GluA were up-regulated in both the roots and hypocotyls of tomato plants after treatment of the plant roots with MgO NP. Histochemical analyses showed that β-1,3-glucanase and tyloses accumulated in the xylem and apoplast of pith tissues of the hypocotyls after MgO NP treatment. These results indicate that MgO NP induces systemic resistance in tomato plants against R. solanacearum.

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