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Data from: Plants use identical inhibitors to protect their cell wall pectin against microbes and insects

Citation

Kirsch, Roy et al. (2020), Data from: Plants use identical inhibitors to protect their cell wall pectin against microbes and insects, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8sf7m0cj1

Abstract

As fundamentally different as phytopathogenic microbes and herbivorous insects are, they enjoy plant-based diets. Hence, they encounter similar challenges to acquire nutrients. Both microbes and beetles possess polygalacturonases (PGs) that hydrolyze the plant cell wall polysaccharide pectin. Countering these threats, plant proteins inhibit PGs of microbes, thereby lowering their infection rate. Whether PG-inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) play a role in defense against herbivorous beetles is unknown. To investigate the significance of PGIPs in insect-plant interactions, feeding assays with the leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae on Arabidopsis thaliana pgip mutants were performed. Fitness was increased when larvae were fed on mutant plants compared to wild-type plants. Moreover, PG activity was higher, although PG genes were downregulated in larvae fed on PGIP-deficient plants, strongly suggesting that PGIPs impair PG activity. As low PG activity resulted in delayed larval growth, our data provide the first in vivo correlative evidence that PGIPs act as defense against insects.