Cuscuta australis is a widely distributed stem parasitic plant, infecting a variety of host plants. Its parasitism has a negative effect on the hosts, mainly due to the exhaustion of nutrients, thus negatively affecting the growth and development. However, recent studies indicated that the effect of parasitism may extend beyond the simple extraction of organic compounds, water, and minerals. In the present study, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a host for Cuscuta australis, to study the effect of the parasite on the photosynthetic parameters and the proteome after short-term infection. To test this, a highly sensitive portable photosynthesis system and gelbased MS/MS proteomics were employed. It was found that the parasite has a dramatic negative effect on the photosynthetic ability of the host, as well as causing the up-regulation of stressrelated proteins. Simultaneously, proteins involved in both decreased permeability and loosening of the cell wall of the host were found to be up-regulated.
Plants 11:2904, 2022.