The Function of the Lipoxygenase ZmLOX10 in Maize Interactions with Insects and Pathogens
Christensen, Shawn A.
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Lipoxygenase (LOX)-derived oxylipins are known to play critical roles in defense against herbivores and pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the biochemical, molecular and physiological roles of a specific maize lipoxygenase gene, ZmLOX10, with special emphasis on LOX10-derived oxylipins in plant-insect and plant-pathogen interactions. To achieve this goal, independent mutant alleles were generated and genetically advanced to create near-isogenic mutant and wild-type lines suitable for functional analysis. Here we provide genetic evidence that LOX10 is the sole LOX isoform in maize required for the biosynthesis of green leafy volatiles (GLV) in leaves and show that LOX10- mediated GLVs play a significant role in direct and indirect defense responses to insects through their regulation of jasmonic acid and volatile organic compound production. Contrary to the defensive role of LOX10 in plant-insect interactions, tests for susceptibility to fungal pathogens suggest that LOX10-mediated GLVs may contribute to the development of disease symptoms to the economically important maize pathogens, Aspergillus flavus and Colletotrichum graminicola. Specifically, LOX10-derived GLVs may facilitate aflatoxin accumulation in response to A. flavus infection and may play a positive role in anthracnose leaf blight and stalk rot caused by C. graminicola. Collectively, our results suggest that metabolites derived from GLV-regulated pathways have a significant impact on molecular plant-herbivore and plant-pathogen interactions.