Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Pathogenesis-related proteins, chitinases (CHT) and β-1,3-glucanases (GLU), are stress proteins up-regulated as response to extrinsic environmental stress in plants. It is unknown whether these PR proteins are also influenced by inbreeding, which has been suggested to constitute intrinsic genetic stress, and which is also known to affect the ability of plants to cope with environmental stress. We investigated activities of CHT and GLU in response to inbreeding in plants from 13 Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) populations. We also studied whether activities of these enzymes were associated with levels of herbivore damage and pathogen infection in the populations from which the plants originated. We found an increase in pathogenesis-related protein activity in inbred plants from five out of the 13 investigated populations, which suggests that these proteins may play a role in how plants respond to intrinsic genetic stress brought about by inbreeding in some populations depending on the allele frequencies of loci affecting the expression of CHT and the past levels of inbreeding. More importantly, we found that CHT activities were higher in plants from populations with higher levels of herbivore or pathogen damage, but inbreeding reduced CHT activity in these populations disrupting the increased activities of this resistance-related enzyme in populations where high resistance is beneficial. These results provide novel information on the effects of plant inbreeding on plant-enemy interactions on a biochemical level.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Animals, Chitinases, Crosses, Genetic, Glucan 1,3-beta-Glucosidase, Herbivory, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Inbreeding, Lychnis, Plant Diseases, Plant Proteins, Stress, Physiological