Background: Jasmonic acid (JA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) regulate plant development, resistance to stress, and insect attack by inducing specific gene expression. However, little is known about the mechanism of plant defense against herbivore attack at a protein level. Using a high-resolution 2-D gel, we identified 62 MeJA-responsive proteins and measured protein expression level changes. Results: Among these 62 proteins, 43 proteins levels were increased while 11 proteins were decreased. We also found eight proteins uniquely expressed in response to MeJA treatment. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001793. The proteins identified in this study have important biological functions including photosynthesis and energy related proteins (38.4%), protein folding, degradation and regulated proteins (15.0%), stress and defense regulated proteins (11.7%), and redox-responsive proteins (8.3%). The expression levels of four important genes were determined by qRT-PCR analysis. The expression levels of these proteins did not correlate well with their translation levels. To test the defense functions of the differentially expressed proteins, expression vectors of four protein coding genes were constructed to express in-fusion proteins in E. coli. The expressed proteins were used to feed Ostrinia furnacalis, the Asian corn borer (ACB). Our results demonstrated that the recombinant proteins of pathogenesis-related protein 1 (PR1) and thioredoxin M-type, chloroplastic precursor (TRXM) showed the significant inhibition on the development of larvae and pupae. Conclusions: We found MeJA could not only induce plant defense mechanisms to insects, it also enhanced toxic protein production that potentially can be used for bio-control of ACB.
Zhang, Y. T., Zhang, Y. L., Chen, S. X., Yin, G. H., Yang, Z. Z., Lee, S., … Yang, F. S. (2015). Proteomics of methyl jasmonate induced defense response in maize leaves against Asian corn borer. BMC Genomics, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1363-1