The circadian clock, an internal time-keeping mechanism, allows plants to anticipate regular changes in the environment, such as light and dark, and biotic challenges such as pathogens and herbivores. Here, we demonstrate that the plant circadian clock influences susceptibility to the necrotrophic fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. Arabidopsis plants show differential susceptibility to B. cinerea depending on the time of day of inoculation. Decreased susceptibility after inoculation at dawn compared with night persists under constant light conditions and is disrupted in dysfunctional clock mutants, demonstrating the role of the plant clock in driving time-of-day susceptibility to B. cinerea. The decreased susceptibility to B. cinerea following inoculation at subjective dawn was associated with faster transcriptional reprogramming of the defence response with gating of infection-responsive genes apparent. Direct target genes of core clock regulators were enriched among the transcription factors that responded more rapidly to infection at subjective dawn than subjective night, suggesting an influence of the clock on the defence-signalling network. In addition, jasmonate signalling plays a crucial role in the rhythmic susceptibility of Arabidopsis to B. cinerea with the enhanced susceptibility to this pathogen at subjective night lost in a jaz6 mutant.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Ingle, R. A., Stoker, C., Stone, W., Adams, N., Smith, R., Grant, M., ... Denby, K. J. (2015). Jasmonate signalling drives time-of-day differences in susceptibility of Arabidopsis to the fungal pathogenBotrytis cinerea. The Plant Journal, 84, 937-948. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13050