Journal Article

Early events induced by chitosan on plant cells

Bénigne-Ernest Amborabé, Janine Bonmort, Pierrette Fleurat-Lessard and Gabriel Roblin

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 9, pages 2317-2324
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Early events induced by chitosan on plant cells

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Chitosan (a polymer of β-1,4-glucosamine residues) is a deacetylated derivative of chitin which presents antifungal properties and acts as a potent elicitor of plant resistance against fungal pathogens. Attention was focused in this study on the chitosan-induced early events in the elicitation chain. Thus, it was shown that chitosan triggered in a dose-dependent manner rapid membrane transient depolarization of Mimosa pudica motor cells and, correlatively, a transient rise of pH in the incubation medium of pulvinar tissues. By using plasma membrane vesicles (PMVs), it was specified that a primary site of action of the compound is the plasma membrane H+-ATPase as shown by its inhibitory effect on the proton pumping and the catalytic activity of the enzyme up to 250 μg ml−1. As a consequence, chitosan treatment modified H+-mediated processes, in particular it inhibited the uptake of the H+-substrate co-transported sucrose and valine, and inhibited the light-induced H+/K+-mediated turgor reaction of motor cells. The present data also allowed the limit of the cytotoxicity of the compound to be established close to a concentration of 100 μg ml−1 at the plasma membrane level. As a consequence, chitosan could be preferably used in plant disease control as a powerful elicitor rather than a direct antifungal agent.

Keywords: Chitosan; elicitor; H+-ATPase; membrane potential

Journal Article.  4701 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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