The role of exogenously added methyl jasmonate (MeJA), a lipid-derived signaling compound, in inducing oxidative stress in the marine red macroalga Gracilaria dura was investigated. MeJA at a concentration of 1-100 μM was a strong stimulant of reactive oxygen species (H2O2, HO· and O2·-) (P < 0.05) causing considerable oxidative stress in G. dura. This further led to lipid peroxidation and degradation of the pigments Chl a and phycocyanin, with a concomitant increase in phycoerythrin. The MeJA-induced oxidative burst also led to the induction of a fatty acid oxidation cascade, resulting in the synthesis of hydroxy-oxylipins and the up-regulation of the 13-lipoxygenase pathway. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomic analysis revealed that monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (a chloroplastic glycerolipid) and phosphatidylcholine (extrachloroplastidic phopholipid) were the most affected lipid classes. The degradation of 18:3-fatty acid-containing monogalactosyldiacylglycerol inferred that it provided fatty acyl chains for the biosynthesis of 13-hydroperoxylinolenic acid, which was further directed towards either the jasmonate pathway or other alternative pathways of the fatty acid oxidation cascade, analogous to higher plants. Also, G. dura modulated the lipid acyl chains in such a way that no significant change was observed in the fatty acid profile of the treated thalli as compared with those of the control, except for C16:0, C16:1 (n-9), C20:3 (n-6) and C20:4 (n-6) (P < 0.05). Furthermore, MeJA caused the accumulation of phenolic compounds and the up-regulation of enzymes involved in secondary metabolism such as polyphenol oxidase, shikimate dehydrogenase and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, indicating a shift towards secondary metabolism as a defense strategy to combat the induced oxidative stress.
- Gracilaria dura
- Methyl jasmonate