Sodium chloride primes JA-independent defense against Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) larvae in Arabidopsis thaliana

Priming for better defense performance is an important strategy in acclimation to the ever-changing environment. In the present study, defense priming induced by sodium chloride at the seedling stage significantly increased the expression of defense gene VSP2, the content of total glucosinolates and the level of the reactive oxygen species in mature Arabidopsis thaliana plants after transferred into the stress-free environment. The previously primed plants could effectively resist the feeding of Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) larvae. Salt-priming enhanced defense of Arabidopsis plants in the absence of either MYC2 or AOS, which encodes a critical transcription factor in JA-signaling and an important enzyme in JA biosynthesis, respectively. Our results supported the JA-independent defense primed by sodium chloride, as well as the elevated ROS and glucosinolate level in primed plants. In addition, the feasibility of using mild salt-priming to improve crop performance in field was proposed.