Microarray expression profiling of Arabidopsis thaliana L. in response to allelochemicals identified in buckwheat
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) is an important annual plant cultivated for grain or as a cover crop in many countries, and it is also used for weed suppression in agro-economic systems through its release of allelochemicals. Little is known, however, concerning the mode of action of allelochemicals or plant defence response against them. Here, microarrays revealed 94, 85, and 28 genes with significantly higher expression after 6h of exposure to the allelochemicals fagomine, gallic acid, and rutin, respectively, compared with controls. These induced genes fell into different functional categories, mainly: interaction with the environment; subcellular localization; protein with binding function or cofactor requirement; cell rescue; defence and virulence; and metabolism. Consistent with these results, plant response to allelochemicals was similar to that for pathogens (biotic stress) or herbicides (abiotic stress), which increase the concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS; with consequent oxidative stress) in plant cells. The data indicate that allelochemicals might have relevant functions, at least in part, in the cross-talk between biotic and abiotic stress signalling because they generate ROS, which has been proposed as a key shared process between these two stress mechanisms.