A loss-of-function mutation in the Arabidopsis SSI2/FAB2 gene, which encodes a plastidic stearoyl–acyl-carrier protein desaturase, has pleiotropic effects. The ssi2 mutant plant is dwarf, spontaneously develops lesions containing dead cells, accumulates increased salicylic acid (SA) levels, and constitutively expresses SA-mediated, NPR1-dependent and -independent defense responses. In parallel, jasmonic acid–regulated signaling is compromised in the ssi2 mutant. In an effort to discern the involvement of lipids in the ssi2-conferred developmental and defense phenotypes, we identified suppressors of fatty acid (stearoyl) desaturase deficiency (sfd) mutants. The sfd1, sfd2, and sfd4 mutant alleles suppress the ssi2-conferred dwarfing and lesion development, the NPR1-independent expression of the PATHOGENESIS-RELATED1 (PR1) gene, and resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv maculicola. The sfd1 and sfd4 mutant alleles also depress ssi2-conferred PR1 expression in NPR1-containing sfd1 ssi2 and sfd4 ssi2 plants. By contrast, the sfd2 ssi2 plant retains the ssi2-conferred high-level expression of PR1. In parallel with the loss of ssi2-conferred constitutive SA signaling, the ability of jasmonic acid to activate PDF1.2 expression is reinstated in the sfd1 ssi2 npr1 plant. sfd4 is a mutation in the FAD6 gene that encodes a plastidic ω6-desaturase that is involved in the synthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acid–containing lipids. Because the levels of plastid complex lipid species containing hexadecatrienoic acid are depressed in all of the sfd ssi2 npr1 plants, we propose that these lipids are involved in the manifestation of the ssi2-conferred phenotypes
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