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Jasmonic acid positively modulates vitamin E accumulation, but the latter can also partly influence the capacity to accumulate the jasmonic acid precursor, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, in white-leaved rockrose (Cistus albidus L.) plants growing in their natural habitat. This study suggests a bidirectional link between chloroplastic antioxidants and lipid peroxidation-derived hormones in plants. While vitamin E is well known for its antioxidant properties being involved in plant responses to abiotic stress, jasmonates are generally related to biotic stress responses in plants. Studying them in non-model plants under natural conditions is crucial for the knowledge on their relationship, which will help us to better understand mechanisms and limits of stress tolerance to implement better conservation strategies in vulnerable ecosystems. We studied a typical Mediterranean shrub, white-leaved rockrose (Cistus albidus) under natural conditions during three winters and we analyzed both α and γ-tocopherol, and the three main jasmonates forms 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), jasmonic acid (JA), and jasmonoyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile). We found that JA contents positively correlated with vitamin E accumulation, most particularly with γ-tocopherol, the precursor of α-tocopherol (the most active vitamin E form). This finding was confirmed by exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) in leaf discs under controlled conditions, which increased γ-tocopherol when applied at 0.1 mM MeJA and α-tocopherol at 1 mM MeJA. Furthermore, a complementary meta-analysis study with previously published reports revealed a positive correlation between JA and vitamin E, although this relationship turned to be strongly species specific. A strong negative correlation was observed, however, between total tocopherols and OPDA (a JA precursor located in chloroplasts). This antagonistic effect was observed between α-tocopherol and OPDA, but not between γ-tocopherol and OPDA. It is concluded that (i) variations in jasmonates and vitamin E due to yearly, inter-individual and sun orientation-driven variability are compatible with a partial regulation of vitamin E accumulation by jasmonates, (ii) vitamin E may also exert a role in the modulation of the biosynthesis of OPDA, with a much smaller effect, if any, on other jasmonates, and (iii) a trade-off in the accumulation of vitamin E and jasmonates might occur in the regulation of biotic and abiotic stress responses in plants.


Andrea Casadesús, Rachida Bouchikh, Marina Pérez-Llorca, Sergi Munné-Bosch. Linking jasmonates with vitamin E accumulation in plants: a case study in the Mediterranean shrub Cistus albidus L. Planta. 2021 Jan 18;253(2):36

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PMID: 33462640

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