The silent information regulator protein (Sir2) and its homologs are NAD+-dependent deacetylase enzymes that play important roles in a variety of physiological processes. However, the functions of the Sir2 family in plants are poorly understood. Here, we report that Arabidopsis AtSRT2, a homolog of yeast Sir2, negatively regulates plant basal defense against the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (PstDC3000). In response to PstDC3000 infection, the expression of AtSRT2 was down-regulated in a salicylic acid (SA)-independent manner. In addition, knock-out of AtSRT2 (srt2) enhanced resistance against PstDC3000 and increased expression of pathogenesis-related gene 1 (PR1). Conversely, overexpression of AtSRT2 resulted in hypersusceptibility to PstDC3000 and impaired PR1 induction. Consistent with this phenotype, expression of PAD4, EDS5 and SID2, three essential genes in the SA biosynthesis pathway, were increased in the srt2 mutant and decreased in AtSRT2-overexpressing plants. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AtSRT2 is a negative regulator of basal defense, possibly by suppressing SA biosynthesis.
AtSRT2; Basal defense; EDS5; PAD4; PstDC3000; SID2
Histidine kinases have been shown to mediate responses to endogenous and exogenous stimuli in organisms such as yeast, bacteria and plants. In the model plant Arabidopsis, histidine kinases have been shown to function in hormone signaling, and abiotic and biotic stress responses. More recently, the least characterized of the Arabidopsis histidine kinases, AHK5, was demonstrated to function in resistance toward the virulent bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 (PstDC3000) and the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea, and as a negative regulator of tolerance toward salinity. Here, we present data which indicate that AHK5 also impacts on drought stress resistance and on the outcome of an incompatible interaction with avrRpm1-expressing PstDC3000 (PstDC3000 (avrRpm1)). We present a model which proposes a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hormones in integrating abiotic and biotic stress responses via AHK5.
histidine kinase; drought stress; hormone signalling; reactive oxygen species
The plant defense hormone salicylic acid (SA) activates gene expression through a number of different mechanisms. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the SA-induced PATHOGENESIS RELATED (PR)-1 promoter is regulated through TGA transcription factors binding to the two TGACG motifs of the so called as-1 (activation sequence-1)-like element which is located between base pair positions -665 and -641. Activation is mediated by the transcriptional co-activator NPR1 (NON EXPRESSOR OF PR GENES1), which physically interacts with TGA factors. Moreover, the promoter is under the control of the negative regulator SNI1 (SUPPRESSOR OF NPR1, INDUCIBLE1). We have recently reported that SNI1-mediated repression of basal promoter activities and NPR1-dependent induction are maintained in a truncated PR-1 promoter that contains sequences between -816 and -573 upstream of the -68 promoter region. In this addendum, we report that the expression characteristics of this truncated PR-1 promoter is changed profoundly when its as-1-like element is replaced by the as-1 element of Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S promoter which also contains two TGACG motifs. The resulting chimeric promoter showed high constitutive activity that was independent from SA, NPR1 and SNI1. Thus, the configuration of two TGA binding sites within the PR-1 promoter determines whether NPR1 can induce and whether SNI1 can repress the promoter.
NPR1; PR-1; salicylic acid; SNI1; TGA factors
The circadian clock allows plants to anticipate predictable daily changes in abiotic stimuli, such as light; however, whether the clock similarly allows plants to anticipate interactions with other organisms is unknown. Here we show that Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) has circadian clock-mediated variation in resistance to the virulent bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000), with plants being least susceptible to infection in the subjective morning. We suggest that the increased resistance to Pst DC3000 observed in the morning in Col-0 plants results from clock-mediated modulation of pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity. Analysis of publicly available microarray data revealed that a large number of Arabidopsis defence-related genes showed both diurnal- and circadian-regulation, including genes involved in the perception of the PAMP flagellin which exhibit a peak in expression in the morning. Accordingly, we observed that PAMP-triggered callose deposition was significantly higher in wild-type plants inoculated with Pst DC3000 hrpA in the subjective morning than in the evening, while no such temporal difference was evident in arrhythmic plants. Our results suggest that PAMP-triggered immune responses are modulated by the circadian clock and that temporal regulation allows plants to anticipate and respond more effectively to pathogen challenges in the daytime.
Oomycete pathogens cause diverse plant diseases. To successfully colonize their hosts, they deliver a suite of effector proteins that can attenuate plant defenses. In the oomycete downy mildews, effectors carry a signal peptide and an RxLR motif. Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) causes downy mildew on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). We investigated if candidate effectors predicted in the genome sequence of Hpa isolate Emoy2 (HaRxLs) were able to manipulate host defenses in different Arabidopsis accessions. We developed a rapid and sensitive screening method to test HaRxLs by delivering them via the bacterial type-three secretion system (TTSS) of Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000-LUX (Pst-LUX) and assessing changes in Pst-LUX growth in planta on 12 Arabidopsis accessions. The majority (∼70%) of the 64 candidates tested positively contributed to Pst-LUX growth on more than one accession indicating that Hpa virulence likely involves multiple effectors with weak accession-specific effects. Further screening with a Pst mutant (ΔCEL) showed that HaRxLs that allow enhanced Pst-LUX growth usually suppress callose deposition, a hallmark of pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI). We found that HaRxLs are rarely strong avirulence determinants. Although some decreased Pst-LUX growth in particular accessions, none activated macroscopic cell death. Fewer HaRxLs conferred enhanced Pst growth on turnip, a non-host for Hpa, while several reduced it, consistent with the idea that turnip's non-host resistance against Hpa could involve a combination of recognized HaRxLs and ineffective HaRxLs. We verified our results by constitutively expressing in Arabidopsis a sub-set of HaRxLs. Several transgenic lines showed increased susceptibility to Hpa and attenuation of Arabidopsis PTI responses, confirming the HaRxLs' role in Hpa virulence. This study shows TTSS screening system provides a useful tool to test whether candidate effectors from eukaryotic pathogens can suppress/trigger plant defense mechanisms and to rank their effectiveness prior to subsequent mechanistic investigation.
Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) is an obligate biotroph whose population coevolves with its host, Arabidopsis thaliana. The Hpa isolate Emoy2 genome has been sequenced, allowing the discovery of dozens of secreted candidate effectors. We set out to assign functions to these candidate effectors, investigating if they suppress host defenses. We analyzed a sub-set of Hpa candidate effectors (HaRxLs) that carry the RxLR motif, using a bacterial system for in planta delivery. To our surprise, we found that most of the HaRxLs enhanced plant susceptibility on at least some accessions, while few decreased it. These phenotypes were mostly confirmed on Arabidopsis transgenic lines stably expressing HaRxLs that became more susceptible to compatible Hpa isolates. Furthermore, effectors that conferred enhanced virulence generally suppressed callose deposition, a hallmark of plant defense. This indicates that the “effectorome” of Hpa comprises multiple distinct effectors that can attenuate Arabidopsis immunity. We found that many HaRxLs did not confer enhanced virulence on all host accessions, and also that only ∼50% of the effectors that conferred enhanced Pst growth on Arabidopsis, were able to do so on turnip, a non-host for Hpa. Our data reveal interesting HaRxLs for detailed mechanistic investigation in future experiments.
An interaction between the helicase domain of the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) 126-/183-kDa replicase protein(s) and the Arabidopsis thaliana NAC domain transcription factor ATAF2 was identified via yeast two-hybrid and in planta immunoprecipitation assays. ATAF2 is transcriptionally induced in response to TMV infection, and its overexpression significantly reduces virus accumulation. Proteasome inhibition studies suggest that ATAF2 is targeted for degradation during virus infection. The transcriptional activity of known defense-associated marker genes PR1, PR2, and PDF1.2 significantly increase within transgenic plants overexpressing ATAF2. In contrast, these marker genes have reduced transcript levels in ATAF2 knockout or repressor plant lines. Thus, ATAF2 appears to function in the regulation of host basal defense responses. In response to TMV infections, ATAF2 and PR1 display increased transcript accumulations in inoculated tissues but not in systemically infected tissues. ATAF2 and PR1 transcript levels also increase in response to salicylic acid treatment. However, the salicylic acid treatment of systemically infected tissues did not produce a similar increase in either ATAF2 or PR1 transcripts, suggesting that host defense responses are attenuated during systemic virus invasion. Similarly, noninfected ATAF2 knockout or ATAF2 repressor lines display reduced levels of PR1 transcripts when treated with salicylic acid. Taken together, these findings suggest that the replicase-ATAF2 interaction suppresses basal host defenses as a means to promote systemic virus accumulation.
A genetically tractable model plant pathosystem, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 on tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana hosts, was used to investigate the role of salicylic acid (SA) and iron acquisition via siderophores in bacterial virulence. Pathogen-induced SA accumulation mediates defense in these plants, and DC3000 contains the genes required for the synthesis of SA, the SA-incorporated siderophore yersiniabactin (Ybt), and the fluorescent siderophore pyoverdin (Pvd). We found that DC3000 synthesizes SA, Ybt, and Pvd under iron-limiting conditions in culture. Synthesis of SA and Ybt by DC3000 requires pchA, an isochorismate synthase gene in the Ybt genomic cluster, and exogenous SA can restore Ybt production by the pchA mutant. Ybt was also produced by DC3000 in planta, suggesting that Ybt plays a role in DC3000 pathogenesis. However, the pchA mutant did not exhibit any growth defect or altered virulence in plants. This lack of phenotype was not attributable to plant-produced SA restoring Ybt production, as the pchA mutant grew similarly to DC3000 in an Arabidopsis SA biosynthetic mutant, and in planta Ybt was not detected in pchA-infected wild-type plants. In culture, no growth defect was observed for the pchA mutant versus DC3000 for any condition tested. Instead, enhanced growth of the pchA mutant was observed under stringent iron limitation and additional stresses. This suggests that SA and Ybt production by DC3000 is costly and that Pvd is sufficient for iron acquisition. Further exploration of the comparative synthesis and utility of Ybt versus Pvd production by DC3000 found siderophore-dependent amplification of ybt gene expression to be absent, suggesting that Ybt may play a yet unknown role in DC3000 pathogenesis.
Stomata play an important role in plant innate immunity by limiting pathogen entry into leaves but molecular mechanisms regulating stomatal closure upon pathogen perception are not well understood. Here we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana L-type lectin receptor kinase-V.5 (LecRK-V.5) negatively regulates stomatal immunity. Loss of LecRK-V.5 function increased resistance to surface inoculation with virulent bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. Levels of resistance were not affected after infiltration-inoculation, suggesting that LecRK-V.5 functions at an early defense stage. By contrast, lines overexpressing LecRK-V.5 were more susceptible to Pst DC3000. Enhanced resistance in lecrk-V.5 mutants was correlated with constitutive stomatal closure, while increased susceptibility phenotypes in overexpression lines were associated with early stomatal reopening. Lines overexpressing LecRK-V.5 also demonstrated a defective stomatal closure after pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) treatments. LecRK-V.5 is rapidly expressed in stomatal guard cells after bacterial inoculation or treatment with the bacterial PAMP flagellin. In addition, lecrk-V.5 mutants guard cells exhibited constitutive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inhibition of ROS production opened stomata of lecrk-V.5. LecRK-V.5 is also shown to interfere with abscisic acid-mediated stomatal closure signaling upstream of ROS production. These results provide genetic evidences that LecRK-V.5 negatively regulates stomatal immunity upstream of ROS biosynthesis. Our data reveal that plants have evolved mechanisms to reverse bacteria-mediated stomatal closure to prevent long-term effect on CO2 uptake and photosynthesis.
During their lifetime, plants face numerous pathogenic microbes. Plants recognize microbial pathogens via plant receptors and recognition leads to the activation of a general defense response. Some foliar pathogens such as bacteria enter plant leaves through natural surface openings such as stomata. To restrict bacterial entry, plants close stomata upon contact with bacteria. A better understanding of stomatal immunity may lead to development of crops with improved disease resistance. Here, we used the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to study activation of defense responses after infection by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 bacteria. We found that a gene not previously known to function in the defense response, LecRK-V.5, is modulating Arabidopsis resistance. By studying plants with mutations in or overexpressing this gene, we show that LecRK-V.5 negatively regulates plant stomatal immunity to Pst DC3000. In addition, LecRK-V.5 is rapidly expressed at stomata upon activation of the general defense response. Plants with mutations in LecRK-V.5 also demonstrated constitutive accumulation of reactive oxygen species in stomatal guard cells. We conclude that LecRK-V.5 is a protein that negatively regulates closure of stomata upon bacterial infection.
There are two major modes for plant recognition of biotrophic microbial pathogens. In one mode, plant pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize microbe associated molecular patterns (MAMPs, also called PAMPs), which are molecules such as flg22, a fragment of bacterial flagellin. In the other mode, the products of plant resistance (R) genes recognize pathogen effectors or host proteins modified by effectors. Salicylic acid (SA) -mediated defense responses are an important part of R gene-mediated resistance. It was not clear how these two signaling mechanisms interact with each other. Recently, we reported that treatment with flg22 triggered SA accumulation in Arabidopsis leaves. Disruptions of SA signaling components strongly affected MAMP-triggered gene expression responses. Flg22-triggered resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000) was partly dependent on SA signaling. Our results demonstrated the importance of SA signaling in flg22-triggered resistance and, at the same time, the importance of some other signaling mechanism(s) in this resistance. Here we discuss potential signaling components of flg22-triggered SA accumulation and other signaling mechanisms potentially contributing to flg22-triggered resistance to Pst DC3000.
arabidopsis; expression profiling; MAMP; PAD4; PAMP; salicylic acid (SA); SID2
The adage from Shakespeare, "troubles, not as single spies, but in battalions come," holds true for Nicotiana attenuata, which is commonly attacked by both pathogens (Pseudomonas spp.) and herbivores (Manduca sexta) in its native habitats. Defense responses targeted against the pathogens can directly or indirectly influence the responses against the herbivores. Nadefensin is an effective induced defense gene against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (PST DC3000), which is also elicited by attack from M. sexta larvae, but whether this defense protein influences M. sexta's growth and whether M. sexta-induced Nadefensin directly or indirectly influences PST DC3000 resistance are unknown.
M. sexta larvae consumed less on WT and on Nadefensin-silenced N. attenuata plants that had previously been infected with PST DC3000 than on uninfected plants. WT plants infected with PST DC3000 showed enhanced resistance to PST DC3000 and decreased leaf consumption by M. sexta larvae, but larval mass gain was unaffected. PST DC3000-infected Nadefensin-silenced plants were less resistant to subsequent PST DC3000 challenge, and on these plants, M. sexta larvae consumed less and gained less mass. WT and Nadefensin-silenced plants previously damaged by M. sexta larvae were better able to resist subsequent PST DC3000 challenges than were undamaged plants.
These results demonstrate that Na-defensin directly mediates defense against PST DC3000 and indirectly against M. sexta in N. attenuata. In plants that were previously infected with PST DC3000, the altered leaf chemistry in PST DC3000-resistant WT plants and PST DC3000-susceptible Nadefensin-silenced plants differentially reduced M. sexta's leaf consumption and mass gain. In plants that were previously damaged by M. sexta, the combined effect of the altered host plant chemistry and a broad spectrum of anti-herbivore induced metabolomic responses was more effective than Nadefensin alone in resisting PST DC3000.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression in development and stress responses in most eukaryotes. We globally profiled plant miRNAs in response to infection of bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst). We sequenced 13 small-RNA libraries constructed from Arabidopsis at 6 and 14 h post infection of non-pathogenic, virulent and avirulent strains of Pst. We identified 15, 27 and 20 miRNA families being differentially expressed upon Pst DC3000 hrcC, Pst DC3000 EV and Pst DC3000 avrRpt2 infections, respectively. In particular, a group of bacteria-regulated miRNAs targets protein-coding genes that are involved in plant hormone biosynthesis and signaling pathways, including those in auxin, abscisic acid, and jasmonic acid pathways. Our results suggest important roles of miRNAs in plant defense signaling by regulating and fine-tuning multiple plant hormone pathways. In addition, we compared the results from sequencing-based profiling of a small set of miRNAs with the results from small RNA Northern blot and that from miRNA quantitative RT-PCR. Our results showed that although the deep-sequencing profiling results are highly reproducible across technical and biological replicates, the results from deep sequencing may not always be consistent with the results from Northern blot or miRNA quantitative RT-PCR. We discussed the procedural differences between these techniques that may cause the inconsistency.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-010-9710-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
MicroRNAs; Post transcriptional regulation; Bacterial infection; Deep sequencing; Innate immunity; Hormone networks
A common feature of plant defense responses is the transcriptional regulation of a large number of genes upon pathogen infection or treatment with pathogen elicitors. A large body of evidence suggests that plant WRKY transcription factors are involved in plant defense including transcriptional regulation of plant host genes in response to pathogen infection. However, there is only limited information about the roles of specific WRKY DNA-binding transcription factors in plant defense.
We analyzed the role of the WRKY25 transcription factor from Arabidopsis in plant defense against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. WRKY25 protein recognizes the TTGACC W-box sequences and its translational fusion with green fluorescent protein is localized to the nucleus. WRKY25 expression is responsive to general environmental stress. Analysis of stress-induced WRKY25 in the defense signaling mutants npr1, sid2, ein2 and coi1 further indicated that this gene is positively regulated by the salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway and negatively regulated by the jasmonic acid signaling pathway. Two independent T-DNA insertion mutants for WRKY25 supported normal growth of a virulent strain of P. syringae but developed reduced disease symptoms after infection. By contrast, Arabidopsis constitutively overexpressing WRKY25 supported enhanced growth of P. syringae and displayed increased disease symptom severity as compared to wild-type plants. These WRKY25-overexpressing plants also displayed reduced expression of the SA-regulated PR1 gene after the pathogen infection, despite normal levels of free SA.
The nuclear localization and sequence-specific DNA-binding activity support that WRKY25 functions as a transcription factor. Based on analysis of both T-DNA insertion mutants and transgenic overexpression lines, stress-induced WRKY25 functions as a negative regulator of SA-mediated defense responses to P. syringae. This proposed role is consistent with the recent finding that WRKY25 is a substrate of Arabidopsis MAP kinase 4, a repressor of SA-dependent defense responses.
Low-level, partial resistance is pre-eminent in natural populations, however, the mechanisms underlying this form of resistance are still poorly understood.
In the present study, we used the model pathosystem Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst) - Arabidopsis thaliana to study the genetic basis of this form of resistance. Phenotypic analysis of a set of Arabidopsis accessions, based on evaluation of in planta pathogen growth revealed extensive quantitative variation for partial resistance to Pst. It allowed choosing a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between the accessions Bayreuth and Shahdara for quantitative genetic analysis. Experiments performed under two different environmental conditions led to the detection of two major and two minor quantitative trait loci (QTLs) governing partial resistance to Pst and called PRP-Ps1 to PRP-Ps4. The two major QTLs, PRP-Ps1 and PRP-Ps2, were confirmed in near isogenic lines (NILs), following the heterogeneous inbred families (HIFs) strategy. Analysis of marker gene expression using these HIFs indicated a negative correlation between the induced amount of transcripts of SA-dependent genes PR1, ICS and PR5, and the in planta bacterial growth in the HIF segregating at PRP-Ps2 locus, suggesting an implication of PRP-Ps2 in the activation of SA dependent responses.
These results show that variation in partial resistance to Pst in Arabidopsis is governed by relatively few loci, and the validation of two major loci opens the way for their fine mapping and their cloning, which will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying partial resistance.
Reduced growth and viability is a common phenotype of plants with constitutively activated pathogen defenses. One branch of the plant innate immunity system, effector-triggered immunity, is especially potent and requires tight control to enable normal plant development. While some facets of this control that directly regulate resistance protein abundance or activity have been documented, general control of effector-triggered signaling sensitivity is poorly understood. We recently identified SUPPRESSOR OF rps4-RLD 1 (SRFR1), a novel negative regulator of avrRps4-triggered immunity. Mutations in SRFR1 were previously shown not to induce constitutive high expression of the defense gene PR1, and to be fully susceptible to the virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000. SRFR1 encodes a tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein with weak similarity to transcriptional repressors in other organisms. By transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana, SRFR1 was localized to the nucleus. Here we investigate more carefully whether expression of defense genes is misregulated in srfr1 mutant plants. Consistent with the hypothesized function of SRFR1 as a negative transcriptional regulator, we find that mRNA levels of several defense genes are upregulated in srfr1 mutants.
Arabidopsis thaliana; Pseudomonas syringae; disease resistance; avrRps4; RPS4; transcriptional repressor
The γ-proteobacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 uses the type III secretion system to inject ca. 28 Avr/Hop effector proteins into plants, which enables the bacterium to grow from low inoculum levels to produce bacterial speck symptoms in tomato, Arabidopsis thaliana, and (when lacking hopQ1-1) Nicotiana benthamiana. The effectors are collectively essential but individually dispensable for the ability of the bacteria to defeat defenses, grow, and produce symptoms in plants. Eighteen of the effector genes are clustered in six genomic islands/islets. Combinatorial deletions involving these clusters and two of the remaining effector genes revealed a redundancy-based structure in the effector repertoire, such that some deletions diminished growth in N. benthamiana only in combination with other deletions. Much of the ability of DC3000 to grow in N. benthamiana was found to be due to five effectors in two redundant-effector groups (REGs), which appear to separately target two high-level processes in plant defense: perception of external pathogen signals (AvrPto and AvrPtoB) and deployment of antimicrobial factors (AvrE, HopM1, HopR1). Further support for the membership of HopR1 in the same REG as AvrE was gained through bioinformatic analysis, revealing the existence of an AvrE/DspA/E/HopR effector superfamily, which has representatives in virtually all groups of proteobacterial plant pathogens that deploy type III effectors.
Pseudomonas syringae is a Gram-negative plant pathogen that defeats plant defenses through effector proteins that are injected into plant cells via the type III secretion system. P. syringae strains are assigned to pathovars based largely on their host of origin. P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 causes bacterial speck of tomato and has become a model for studying bacterium–plant interactions because it also attacks the experimentally amenable plants Arabidopsis thaliana and (if one effector acting as an avirulence determinant is removed) Nicotiana benthamiana. Genome sequence–enabled studies have revealed that strains in different pathovars harbor large (15–30) effector repertoires, which are surprisingly diverse and show no obvious correlation with host range. In search of rules governing the composition of effector repertoires in individual strains, we constructed combinatorial deletions involving 20 of the 28 effectors deployed by D3000. The pattern of growth defects resulting from these mutations suggests an architecture in the effector repertoire involving redundant targeting of a few vulnerable plant defense processes and compensatory redundancies in these defenses.
Approximately 20 000 of the rice-FOX Arabidopsis transgenic lines, which overexpress 13 000 rice full-length cDNAs at random in Arabidopsis, were screened for bacterial disease resistance by dip inoculation with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000). The identities of the overexpressed genes were determined in 72 lines that showed consistent resistance after three independent screens. Pst DC3000 resistance was verified for 19 genes by characterizing other independent Arabidopsis lines for the same genes in the original rice-FOX hunting population or obtained by reintroducing the genes into ecotype Columbia by floral dip transformation. Thirteen lines of these 72 selections were also resistant to the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum. Eight genes that conferred resistance to Pst DC3000 in Arabidopsis have been introduced into rice for overexpression, and transformants were evaluated for resistance to the rice bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. One of the transgenic rice lines was highly resistant to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Interestingly, this line also showed remarkably high resistance to Magnaporthe grisea, the fungal pathogen causing rice blast, which is the most devastating rice disease in many countries. The causal rice gene, encoding a putative receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase, was therefore designated as BROAD-SPECTRUM RESISTANCE 1. Our results demonstrate the utility of the rice-FOX Arabidopsis lines as a tool for the identification of genes involved in plant defence and suggest the presence of a defence mechanism common between monocots and dicots.
Arabidopsis; disease resistance; FOX hunting system; Pseudomonas syringae; receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase; rice
Sphingomonas sp. strain Fr1 has recently been shown to protect Arabidopsis thaliana against the bacterial leaf pathogen Pseudomonas syringae DC3000. Here, we describe a forward genetic in planta screen to identify genes in Sphingomonas sp. Fr1 necessary for this effect. About 5,000 Sphingomonas sp. Fr1 mini-Tn5 mutants were assayed for a defect in plant protection against a luxCDABE-tagged P. syringae DC3000 derivative in a space-saving 24-well plate system. The bioluminescence of the pathogen was used as the indicator of pathogen proliferation and allowed for the identification of Sphingomonas sp. Fr1 mutants that had lost the ability to restrict pathogen growth before disease symptoms were visible. Potential candidates were validated using the same miniaturized experimental system. Of these mutants, 10 were confirmed as plant protection defective yet colonization competent. The mutants were subsequently evaluated in a previously described standard microbox system, and plants showed enhanced disease phenotypes after pathogen infection relative to those inoculated with the parental strain as a control. However, the disease severities were lower than those observed for control plants that were grown axenically prior to pathogen challenge, which suggests that several traits may contribute to plant protection. Transposon insertion sites of validated mutants with defects in plant protection were determined and mapped to 7 distinct genomic regions. In conclusion, the established screening protocol allowed us to identify mutations that affect plant protection, and it opens the possibility to uncover traits important for in planta microbe-microbe interactions.
Experimental infections of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) with genomically characterized plant pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae have facilitated dissection of canonical eukaryotic defense pathways and parasite virulence factors. Plants are also attacked by herbivorous insects, and the development of an ecologically relevant genetic model herbivore that feeds on Arabidopsis will enable the parallel dissection of host defense and reciprocal resistance pathways such as those involved in xenobiotic metabolism. An ideal candidate is Scaptomyza flava, a drosophilid fly whose leafmining larvae are true herbivores that can be found in nature feeding on Arabidopsis and other crucifers. Here we describe the eukaryotic life cycle of S. flava on Arabidopsis, and use multiple approaches to characterize the response of Arabidopsis to S. flava attack. Oviposition choice tests and growth performance assays on different Arabidopsis ecotypes, defense-related mutants, and hormone and chitin-treated plants revealed significant differences in host preference and variation in larval performance across Arabidopsis accessions. The jasmonate (JA) and glucosinolate pathways in Arabidopsis are important in mediating quantitative resistance against S. flava, and priming with JA or chitin resulted in increased resistance. Expression of xenobiotic detoxification genes was reduced in S. flava larvae reared on Arabidopsis JA signaling mutants, and increased in plants pre-treated with chitin. These results and future research directions are discussed in the context of developing a genetic model system to analyze insect/plant interactions.
Arabidopsis; Drosophila; gene expression; herbivory; jasmonate; model system
The bacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae depends on a type III protein secretion system and the effector proteins that it translocates into plant cells to cause disease and to elicit the defense-associated hypersensitive response on resistant plants. The availability of the P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 genome sequence has resulted in the identification of many novel effectors. We identified the hopPtoV effector gene on the basis of its location next to a candidate type III chaperone (TTC) gene, shcV, and within a pathogenicity island in the DC3000 chromosome. A DC3000 mutant lacking ShcV was unable to secrete detectable amounts of HopPtoV into culture supernatants or translocate HopPtoV into plant cells, based on an assay that tested whether HopPtoV-AvrRpt2 fusions were delivered into plant cells. Coimmunoprecipitation and Saccharomyces cerevisiae two-hybrid experiments showed that ShcV and HopPtoV interact directly with each other. The ShcV binding site was delimited to an N-terminal region of HopPtoV between amino acids 76 and 125 of the 391-residue full-length protein. Our results demonstrate that ShcV is a TTC for the HopPtoV effector. DC3000 overexpressing ShcV and HopPtoV and DC3000 mutants lacking either HopPtoV or both ShcV and HopPtoV were not significantly impaired in disease symptoms or bacterial multiplication in planta, suggesting that HopPtoV plays a subtle role in pathogenesis or that other effectors effectively mask the contribution of HopPtoV in plant pathogenesis.
To defend themselves, plants activate inducible defense mechanisms that are effective against the invader that is encountered. There is partial overlap in the defense signaling pathways that are induced by insect herbivores and microbial pathogens that may result in cross-resistance. We have previously shown that infestation by tissue-chewing Pieris rapae larvae induces resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana against subsequent attack by the microbial pathogens Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst), Xanthomonas campestris pv. armoraciae (Xca) and turnip crinkle virus (TCV). Phloem-feeding aphids, such as the generalist Myzus persicae, have a stealthy feeding strategy that is very different from chewing by lepidopteran larvae. Yet, M. persicae feeding results in a large transcriptomic change. Here, we report on the effectiveness of the defense response that is triggered by M. persicae infestation, as well as the sensitivity of M. persicae to microbially-induced resistance. M. persicae reproduction was not affected by prior conspecific feeding, nor was aphid-induced resistance effective against subsequent attack by Pst, Xca or TCV. Moreover, induced systemic resistance (ISR) triggered by beneficial Pseudomonas fluorescens rhizobacteria was not effective against M. persicae. However, systemic acquired resistance (SAR) induced by prior infection with avirulent Pst was associated with reduced aphid reproduction. These data provide insight into the effectiveness of pathogen and insect resistance and highlight the complexity of the defense responses that are triggered during multitrophic plant-attacker interactions.
Arabidopsis; induced resistance; defense signaling; Myzus persicae
The bacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae requires a type III protein secretion system (TTSS) to cause disease. The P. syringae TTSS is encoded by the hrp-hrc gene cluster. One of the genes within this cluster, hrpJ, encodes a protein with weak similarity to YopN, a type III secreted protein from the animal pathogenic Yersinia species. Here, we show that HrpJ is secreted in culture and translocated into plant cells by the P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 TTSS. A DC3000 hrpJ mutant, UNL140, was greatly reduced in its ability to cause disease symptoms and multiply in Arabidopsis thaliana. UNL140 exhibited a reduced ability to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) in nonhost tobacco plants. UNL140 was unable to elicit an AvrRpt2- or AvrB1-dependent HR in A. thaliana but maintained its ability to secrete AvrB1 in culture via the TTSS. Additionally, UNL140 was defective in its ability to translocate the effectors AvrPto1, HopB1, and AvrPtoB. Type III secretion assays showed that UNL140 secreted HrpA1 and AvrPto1 but was unable to secrete HrpZ1, a protein that is normally secreted in culture in relatively large amounts, into culture supernatants. Taken together, our data indicate that HrpJ is a type III secreted protein that is important for pathogenicity and the translocation of effectors into plant cells. Based on the failure of UNL140 to secrete HrpZ1, HrpJ may play a role in controlling type III secretion, and in its absence, specific accessory proteins, like HrpZ1, may not be extracellularly localized, resulting in disabled translocation of effectors into plant cells.
Previously, we conducted a mutant screen of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 to identify genes that contribute to virulence on Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Here we describe the characterization of one mutant strain, DB4H2, which contains a single Tn5 insertion in PSPTO3576, an open reading frame that is predicted to encode a protein belonging to the TetR family of transcriptional regulators. We demonstrate that PSPTO3576 is necessary for virulence in DC3000 and designate the encoded protein TvrR (TetR-like virulence regulator). TvrR, like many other TetR-like transcriptional regulators, negatively regulates its own expression. Despite the presence of a putative HrpL binding site in the tvrR promoter region, tvrR is not regulated by HrpL, an alternative sigma factor that regulates the expression of many known DC3000 virulence genes. tvrR mutant strains grow comparably to wild-type DC3000 in culture and possess an intact type III secretion system. However, tvrR mutants do not cause disease symptoms on inoculated A. thaliana and tomato plants, and their growth within plant tissue is significantly impaired. We demonstrate that tvrR mutant strains are able to synthesize coronatine (COR), a phytotoxin required for virulence of DC3000 on A. thaliana. Given that tvrR mutant strains are not defective for type III secretion or COR production, tvrR appears to be a novel virulence factor required for a previously unexplored process that is necessary for pathogenesis.
In animals, major classes of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) possess a Dbl (diffuse B-cell lymphoma)- homology (DH) domain that functions as a GEF-catalytic domain. However, no GEFs with the DH domain had been identified in plants. Recently, we found that the rice homolog of human SWAP70, Oryza sative (Os) SWAP70, containing the DH domain, exhibited GEF activity toward the rice Rho GTPase OsRac1, and regulates chitin-induced production of reactive oxygen species and defense gene expression in rice.1 Arabidopsis contains a single SWAP70 gene. A T-DNA insertion mutant of Arabidopsis SWAP70 was morphologically wild type. Measurement of in planta growth of Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 hrcC, a mutant incapable of type III effector delivery, revealed enhanced growth of the pathogen in the atswap70 mutant, indicating that AtSWAP70 is required for PAMP-triggered immunity. In addition, the atswap70 mutation reduced the RPM1-mediated hypersensitive response. These results suggested that AtSWAP70 plays a role in both PAMP- and effector-triggered immunity in Arabidopsis.
GEF; Rop; GTPase; immunity; DH; defense; HR; PTI; ETI
Jasmonates (JAs) control many aspects of plant defense and development, for instance by inhibiting growth and eliciting secondary metabolism. The mechanisms by which JAs regulate these processes are currently under intensive investigation. Examination of transcriptional changes upon methyl jasmonate (MeJA) perception in a fast-growing Arabidopsis thaliana cell suspension culture revealed a quick and direct dual effect of JAs on the plant's cellular processes. Simultaneously, JA-elicited Arabidopsis cells activated phenylpropanoid metabolism and repressed cell cycle progression. Early JA response genes were predominantly implicated in transcriptional regulation and JA biosynthesis. In two parallel screens, we identified both early responsive transcriptional activators (ORA47 and MYC2) and transcriptional repressors (STZ/ZAT10 and AZF2) that putatively regulate the expression of the JA biosynthesis gene LOX3. In this addendum, we provide additional data demonstrating that MYC2, STZ/ZAT10 and AZF2 might also control the expression of JAZ1/TIFY10a that encodes a key repressor in the JA signaling cascade.
jasmonate; transcriptional regulation; JAZ; TIFY; MYC2; C2H2 zinc fingers; lipoxygenase
The Arabidopsis thaliana NPR1 gene encodes a transcription coactivator (NPR1) that plays a major role in the mechanisms regulating plant defense response. After pathogen infection and in response to salicylic acid (SA) accumulation, NPR1 translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus where it interacts with other transcription factors resulting in increased expression of over 2000 plant defense genes contributing to a pathogen resistance response.
A putative Theobroma cacao NPR1 cDNA was isolated by RT-PCR using degenerate primers based on homologous sequences from Brassica, Arabidopsis and Carica papaya. The cDNA was used to isolate a genomic clone from Theobroma cacao containing a putative TcNPR1 gene. DNA sequencing revealed the presence of a 4.5 kb coding region containing three introns and encoding a polypeptide of 591 amino acids. The predicted TcNPR1 protein shares 55% identity and 78% similarity to Arabidopsis NPR1, and contains each of the highly conserved functional domains indicative of this class of transcription factors (BTB/POZ and ankyrin repeat protein-protein interaction domains and a nuclear localization sequence (NLS)). To functionally define the TcNPR1 gene, we transferred TcNPR1 into an Arabidopsis npr1 mutant that is highly susceptible to infection by the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Driven by the constitutive CaMV35S promoter, the cacao TcNPR1 gene partially complemented the npr1 mutation in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, resulting in 100 fold less bacterial growth in a leaf infection assay. Upon induction with SA, TcNPR1 was shown to translocate into the nucleus of leaf and root cells in a manner identical to Arabidopsis NPR1. Cacao NPR1 was also capable of participating in SA-JA signaling crosstalk, as evidenced by the suppression of JA responsive gene expression in TcNPR1 overexpressing transgenic plants.
Our data indicate that the TcNPR1 is a functional ortholog of Arabidopsis NPR1, and is likely to play a major role in defense response in cacao. This fundamental knowledge can contribute to breeding of disease resistant cacao varieties through the application of molecular markers or the use of transgenic strategies.