Molecular Reprogramming of Arabidopsis in Response to Perturbation of Jasmonate Signaling

Jasmonates (JAs) are important phytohormones that regulate a wide range of plant processes including growth, development, senescence, and defense. Jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins are repressors in JA signaling. In Arabidopsis thaliana, 12 JAZ encoding genes were identified, but only a few have been studied in detail. In this study, we focused on characterizing the molecular networks involving JAZ2 and JAZ7. To understand the phenotypes and elucidate the regulatory functions of JAZ2 and JAZ7, shoot and root tissues from wild type (WT), jaz2, and jaz7 were harvested for RNA sequencing and metabolomics. Distinct changes of transcripts and metabolites in JA biosynthesis, primary and specialized metabolism, and oxidative stress were observed among the three genotypes. In particular, many defense or stress-associated metabolites and specialized metabolites were increased in response to methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment. Most importantly, these changes were subjected to quantitative modulation by the JAZ proteins at both transcriptional and metabolic levels, the degree of which may control resource allocation between growth and defense. This study not only reveals MeJA-induced molecular reprogramming but also demonstrates the functions of JAZ proteins as key regulators in fine-tuning JA signal transduction.