Journal Article

Expression of the β-oxidation gene <i>3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase 2</i> (<i>KAT2</i>) is required for the timely onset of natural and dark-induced leaf senescence in <i>Arabidopsis</i>

Mari Cruz Castillo and José León

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 8, pages 2171-2179
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern079

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The onset of leaf senescence is regulated by a complex mechanism involving positive and negative regulators. Among positive regulators, jasmonic acid (JA) accumulates in senescing leaves and the JA-insensitive coi1-1 mutant displays delayed leaf senescence in Arabidopsis. A strong activated expression of the gene coding for the JA-biosynthetic β-oxidation enzyme 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase 2 (KAT2) in natural and dark-induced senescing leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana is reported here. By using KAT2::GUS and KAT2::LUC transgenic plants, it was observed that dark-induced KAT2 activation occurred both in excised leaves as well as in whole darkened plants. The KAT2 activation associated with dark-induced senescence occurred soon after a move to darkness, and it preceded the detection of symptoms and the expression of senescence-associated gene (SAG) markers. Transgenic plants with reduced expression of the KAT2 gene showed a significant delayed senescence both in natural and dark-induced processes. The rapid induction of the KAT2 gene in senescence-promoting conditions as well as the delayed senescence phenotype and the reduced SAG expression in KAT2 antisense transgenic plants, point to KAT2 as an essential component for the timely onset of leaf senescence in Arabidopsis.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; β-oxidation; jasmonic acid; KAT2; leaf senescence

Journal Article.  5917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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