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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Phenolic acid-induced phase separation and translation inhibition mediate plant interspecific competition

Xie, Zhouli; Zhao, Shuai; Li, Ying; Deng, Yuhua; Shi, Yabo; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Li, Yue; Li, Haiwei; Chen, Changtian; Wang, Xingwei; Liu, Enhui; Tu, Yuchen; Shi, Peng; Tong, Jinjin; Gutierrez-Beltran, Emilio; Li, Jiayu; Bozhkov, Peter V.; Qian, Weiqiang; Zhou, Mian; Wang, Wei


Phenolic acids (PAs) secreted by donor plants suppress the growth of their susceptible plant neighbours. However, how structurally diverse ensembles of PAs are perceived by plants to mediate interspecific competition remains a mystery. Here we show that a plant stress granule (SG) marker, RNA-BINDING PROTEIN 47B (RBP47B), is a sensor of PAs in Arabidopsis. PAs, including salicylic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid and so on, directly bind RBP47B, promote its phase separation and trigger SG formation accompanied by global translation inhibition. Salicylic acid-induced global translation inhibition depends on RBP47 family members. RBP47s regulate the proteome rather than the absolute quantity of SG. The rbp47 quadruple mutant shows a reduced sensitivity to the inhibitory effect of the PA mixture as well as to that of PA-rich rice when tested in a co-culturing ecosystem. In this Article, we identified the long sought-after PA sensor as RBP47B and illustrated that PA-induced SG-mediated translational inhibition was one of the PA perception mechanisms.Allelopathy-the chemical competition between neighbouring plants-has been observed for centuries. This study identifies a sensor of phenolic allelochemicals and reveals translational control as a key mechanism.

Published in

Nature Plants
2023, Volume: 9, number: 9, pages: 1481–1499

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      Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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