Role of Major Glucosinolates in the Defense of Kale Against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Xanthomonas campestris pv. Campestris
- Glucosinolates (GSLs) are secondary metabolites present in Brassicaceae species implicated in their defense against plant pathogens. When a pathogen causes tissue damage, the enzyme myrosinase hydrolyzes GSLs into diverse products that exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of bacteria and fungi in vitro. It was demonstrated that modulation of GSL content in vivo affects plant resistance to infection by pathogens in Arabidopsis. However, the roles of specific metabolites and how they interact with pathogens are poorly understood in Brassica crops. We previously developed a set of populations of Brassica oleracea var. acephala L. (kale) differing in content of three GSLs: the aliphatics sinigrin (2-propenyl [SIN]) and glucoiberin (3-methylsulphinylpropyl [GIB]) and the indolic glucobrassicin (3-indolylmethyl [GBS]). These populations can be used to study the effects of major GSLs in kale, with the advantage that genotypes within each selection have the same genetic background. This research aimed to explore the role of SIN, GIB, and GBS in the defense of kale against the necrotrophic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. Results showed that increasing the amount of a particular GSL did not always result in disease resistance. The effects of GSLs were apparently dependent on the pathogen and the type of GSL. Thus, the aliphatic SIN was inhibitory to infection by S. sclerotiorum and the indolic GBS was inhibitory to infection by X. campestris pv. campestris. Other factors, including the quantity and proportion of other metabolites modified during the pathogen infection process, could also modulate the degree of inhibition to the pathogen.