ER bodies are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived organelles specific to the order Brassicales and are thought to function in plant defense against insects and pathogens. ER bodies are generally classified into two types: constitutive ER bodies in the epidermal cells of seedlings, and wound-inducible ER bodies in rosette leaves. Herein, we reveal a third type of ER body found in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) rosette leaves and designate them “leaf ERbodies” (L-ER bodies). L-ER bodies constitutively occurred in specific cells of the rosette leaves: marginal cells, epidermal cells covering the midrib, and giant pavement cells. The distribution of L-ER bodies was closely associated with the expression profile of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NAI1, which is responsible for constitutive ER-body formation. L-ER bodies were seldom observed in nai1 mutant leaves, indicating that NAI1 is involved in L-ER body formation. Confocal imaging analysis revealed that L-ER bodies accumulated two types of β-glucosidases: PYK10, the constitutive ER-body β-glucosidase; and BETA-GLUCOSIDASE18 (BGLU18), the wound-inducible ER-body β-glucosidase. Combined with the absence of L-ER bodies in the bglu18 pyk10 mutant, these results indicate that BGLU18 and PYK10 are the major components of L-ER bodies. A subsequent feeding assay with the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare revealed that bglu18 pyk10 leaves were severely damaged as a result of herbivory. In addition, the bglu18 pyk10 mutant was defective in the hydrolysis of 4-methoxyindol-3-ylmethyl glucosinolate These results suggest that L-ER bodies are involved in the production of defensive compound(s) from 4-methoxyindol-3-ylmethyl glucosinolate that protect Arabidopsis leaves against herbivory attack.

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