Long-lasting β-aminobutyric acid-induced resistance protects tomato fruit against Botrytis cinerea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Plant Production and Protection (P3) Centre for Translational Plant and Soil Biology, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
  • biOMICS: Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
  • Plant Physiology Section, Department of Agricultural Sciences and the Natural Environment, Universitat Jaume I

Abstract

Minimizing losses to pests and diseases is essential for producing sufficient food to feed the world's rapidly growing population. The necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea triggers devastating pre‐ and post‐harvest yield losses in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Current control methods are based on the pre‐harvest use of fungicides, which are limited by strict legislation. This investigation tested whether induction of resistance by β‐aminobutyric acid (BABA) at different developmental stages provides an alternative strategy to protect post‐harvest tomato fruit against B. cinerea. Soil‐drenching plants with BABA once fruit had already formed had no impact on tomato susceptibility to B. cinerea. However, BABA application to seedlings significantly reduced post‐harvest infection of fruit. This resistance response was not associated with a yield reduction; however, there was a delay in fruit ripening. Untargeted metabolomics revealed differences between fruit from water‐ and BABA‐treated plants, demonstrating that BABA triggered a defence‐associated metabolomics profile that was long lasting. Targeted analysis of defence hormones suggested a role of abscisic acid (ABA) in the resistance phenotype. Post‐harvest application of ABA to the fruit of water‐treated plants induced susceptibility to B. cinerea. This phenotype was absent from the ABA‐exposed fruit of BABA‐treated plants, suggesting a complex role of ABA in BABA‐induced resistance. A final targeted metabolomic analysis detected trace residues of BABA accumulated in the red fruit. Overall, it was demonstrated that BABA induces post‐harvest resistance in tomato fruit against B. cinerea with no penalties in yield.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
JournalPlant Pathology
Volume67
Issue number1
Early online date13 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • abscisic acid, botrytis cinerea, induced resistance, post-harvest, tomato (solanum lycopersicum), b-aminobutyric acid