Pathogen-induced autophagy regulates monolignol transport and lignin formation in plant immunity

Hwi Seong Jeon, Eunjeong Jang, Jinwoo Kim, Seu Ha Kim, Myoung Hoon Lee, Myung Hee Nam, Yuki Tobimatsu, Ohkmae K. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The evolutionary plant-pathogen arms race has equipped plants with the immune system that can defend against pathogens. Pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity are two major branches of innate immunity that share immune responses, including oxidative bursts, transcriptional reprogramming, and cell wall modifications such as lignin deposition. In a previous study, we reported that lignin rapidly accumulates in pathogen-infected Arabidopsis leaves and acts as a mechanical barrier, spatially restricting pathogens and cell death. Lignin deposition into the cell wall is a three-step process: monolignol biosynthesis, transport, and polymerization. While monolignol biosynthesis and polymerization are relatively well understood, the mechanism of monolignol transport remains unclear. In this study, we show that macroautophagy/autophagy modulates pathogen-induced lignin formation. Lignification and other immune responses were impaired in autophagy-defective atg (autophagy-related) mutants. In microscopy analyses, monolignols formed punctate structures in response to pathogen infection and colocalized with autophagic vesicles. Furthermore, autophagic activity and lignin accumulation were both enhanced in dnd1 (defense, no death 1) mutant with elevated disease resistance but no cell death and crossing dnd1-1 with atg mutants resulted in a lignin deficit, further supporting that lignin formation requires autophagy. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that lignification, particularly monolignol transport, is achieved through autophagic membrane trafficking in plant immunity.Abbreviations: ABC transporter: ATP-binding cassette transporter; ACD2/AT4G37000: accelerated cell death 2; ATG: autophagy-related; C3′H/AT2G40890: p-coumaroyl shikimate 3-hydroxylase; C4H/AT2G30490: cinnamate 4-hydroxylase; CA: coniferyl alcohol; CaMV: cauliflower mosaic virus; CASP: Casparian strip membrane domain protein; CASPL: CASP-like protein; CBB: Coomassie Brilliant Blue; CCoAOMT1/AT4G34050: caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase 1; CCR1/AT1G15950: cinnamoyl-CoA reductase 1; CFU: colony-forming unit; COMT1/AT5G54160: caffeic acid O-methyltransferase 1; Con A: concanamycin A; DMAC: dimethylaminocoumarin; DND1/AT5G15410: defense, no death 1; CNGC2: cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 2; ER: endoplasmic reticulum; ESB1/AT2G28670/DIR10: enhanced suberin 1; ETI: effector-triggered immunity; EV: extracellular vesicle; F5H/AT4G36220: ferulate-5-hydroxylase; Fluo-3 AM: Fluo-3 acetoxymethyl ester; GFP: green fluorescent protein; HCT/AT5G48930: p-hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:quinate/shikimate p-hydroxycinnamoyltransferase; HR: hypersensitive response; LAC: laccase; LTG: LysoTracker Green; LSD1/AT4G200380: lesion stimulating disease 1; PAL1/AT2G37040: phenylalanine ammonia-lyase 1; PAMP: pathogen-associated molecular patterns; PCD: programmed cell death; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine; PRX: peroxidase; Pst DC3000: Pseudomonas syringe pv. tomato DC3000; PTI: pattern-triggered immunity; SA: salicylic acid; SD: standard deviation; SID2/AT1G7410: SA induction-deficient 2; UGT: UDP-glucosyltransferase; UPLC: ultraperformance liquid chromatography; UPS: unconventional protein secretion; V-ATPase: vacuolar-type H+-translocating ATPase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-615
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Arabidopsis
  • autophagy
  • cell death
  • dnd1
  • immunity
  • lignin
  • monolignol transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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