Glycosylation of N-Hydroxy-Pipecolic Acid Equilibrates between Systemic Acquired Resistance Response and Plant Growth

Jianghua Cai, Adam Jozwiak, Lara Holoidovsky, Michael M. Meijler, Sagit Meir, Ilana Rogachev, Asaph Aharoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid (NHP) activates plant systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Enhanced defense responses are typically accompanied by deficiency in plant development and reproduction. Despite of extensive studies on SAR induction, the effects of NHP metabolism on plant growth remain largely unclear. In this study, we discovered that NHP glycosylation is a critical factor that fine-tunes the tradeoff between SAR defense and plant growth. We demonstrated that a UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT76B1) forming NHP glycoside (NHPG) controls the NHP to NHPG ratio. Consistently, the ugt76b1 mutant exhibits enhanced SAR response and an inhibitory effect on plant growth, while UGT76B1 overexpression attenuates SAR response, promotes growth, and delays senescence, indicating that NHP levels are dependent on UGT76B1 function in the course of SAR. Furthermore, our results suggested that, upon pathogen attack, UGT76B1-mediated NHP glycosylation forms a “hand brake” on NHP accumulation by attenuating the positive regulation of NHP biosynthetic pathway genes, highlighting the complexity of SAR-associated networks. In addition, we showed that UGT76B1-mediated NHP glycosylation in the local site is important for fine-tuning SAR response. Our results implicate that engineering plant immunity through manipulating the NHP/NHPG ratio is a promising method to balance growth and defense response in crops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-455
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Dec 2020


  • N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid
  • N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid glycoside
  • UDP-glycosyltransferase
  • glycosylation
  • plant growth
  • systemic acquired resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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