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.
Plants have evolved an array of constitutive and inducible defense strategies to restrict pathogen ingress. However, some pathogens still manage to invade plants and impair growth and productivity. Previous studies have revealed several key regulators of defense responses, and efforts have been made to use this information to develop disease resistant crop plants. These efforts are often hampered by the complexity of defense signaling pathways. To further elucidate the complexity of defense responses, we screened a population of T-DNA mutants in Colombia-0 background that displayed altered defense responses to virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000).
In this study, we demonstrated that the Arabidopsis Purple Acid Phosphatse5 (PAP5) gene, induced under prolonged phosphate (Pi) starvation, is required for maintaining basal resistance to certain pathogens. The expression of PAP5 was distinctly induced only under prolonged Pi starvation and during the early stage of Pst DC3000 infection (6 h.p.i). T-DNA tagged mutant pap5 displayed enhanced susceptibility to the virulent bacterial pathogen Pst DC3000. The pap5 mutation greatly reduced the expression of pathogen inducible gene PR1 compared to wild-type plants. Similarly, other defense related genes including ICS1 and PDF1.2 were impaired in pap5 plants. Moreover, application of BTH (an analog of SA) restored PR1 expression in pap5 plants.
Taken together, our results demonstrate the requirement of PAP5 for maintaining basal resistance against Pst DC3000. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that PAP5 acts upstream of SA accumulation to regulate the expression of other defense responsive genes. We also provide the first experimental evidence indicating the role PAP5 in plant defense responses.
Arabidopsis; Plant defense responses; PAP5; Pseudomonas syringae; Phosphate starvation
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.
The nonhost-specific phytotoxin coronatine (COR) produced by several pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae functions as a jasmonic acid-isoleucine (JA-Ile) mimic and contributes to disease development by suppressing plant defense responses and inducing reactive oxygen species in chloroplast. It has been shown that the F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1) is the receptor for COR and JA-Ile. JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins act as negative regulators for JA signaling in Arabidopsis. However, the physiological significance of JAZ proteins in P. syringae disease development and nonhost pathogen-induced hypersensitive response (HR) cell death is not completely understood. In this study, we identified JAZ genes from tomato, a host plant for P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000), and examined their expression profiles in response to COR and pathogens. Most JAZ genes were induced by COR treatment or inoculation with COR-producing Pst DC3000, but not by the COR-defective mutant DB29. Tomato SlJAZ2, SlJAZ6 and SlJAZ7 interacted with SlCOI1 in a COR-dependent manner. Using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), we demonstrated that SlJAZ2, SlJAZ6 and SlJAZ7 have no effect on COR-induced chlorosis in tomato and Nicotiana benthamiana. However, SlJAZ2-, SlJAZ6- and SlJAZ7-silenced tomato plants showed enhanced disease-associated cell death to Pst DC3000. Furthermore, we found delayed HR cell death in response to the nonhost pathogen Pst T1 or a pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP), INF1, in SlJAZ2- and SlJAZ6-silenced N. benthamiana. These results suggest that tomato JAZ proteins regulate the progression of cell death during host and nonhost interactions.
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
Recent studies have suggested that lipopolysaccharides (LPS) induce nitric oxide (NO) production and defense gene expression in plants. Our current work investigated the signaling mechanism of NO and the role of NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES1 (NPR1) in LPS-induced innate immunity of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We have provided evidence that LPS-elicited NO generation as well as increased antioxidant enzyme activities capable of maintaining the redox state could be important to protect plants against oxidative damage from pathogen attack. In addition, LPS-activated defense responses, including callose deposition and defense-related gene expression, are regulated through an NPR1-dependent signaling pathway. Our results contribute to elucidation of the signaling mechanism of NO and highlight an important role of NPR1 in modulating LPS-triggered innate immunity in plants. However, further research is necessary to clarify the cross-talk between mitochondria and NO on activating LPS-induced defense responses, and the regulatory mechanism of NO in LPS-induced innate immunity needs further improvement.
nitric oxide; lipopolysaccharides; NPR1; nitric oxide synthase; plant innate immunity; priming
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.
Green leaf volatiles (GLVs) are C6-molecules – alcohols, aldehydes, and esters – produced by plants upon herbivory or during pathogen infection. Exposure to this blend of volatiles induces defense-related responses in neighboring undamaged plants, thus assigning a role to GLVs in regulating plant defenses. Here we compared Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Landsberg erecta (Ler) with a hydroperoxide lyase line, hpl1, unable to synthesize GLVs, for susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (DC3000). We found that the growth of DC3000 was significantly reduced in the hpl1 mutant. This phenomenon correlated with lower jasmonic acid (JA) levels and higher salicylic acid levels in the hpl1 mutant. Furthermore, upon infection, the JA-responsive genes VSP2 and LEC were only slightly or not induced, respectively, in hpl1. This suggests that the reduced growth of DC3000 in hpl1 plants is due to the constraint of JA-dependent responses. Treatment of hpl1 plants with E-2-hexenal, one of the more reactive GLVs, prior to infection with DC3000, resulted in increased growth of DC3000 in hpl1, thus complementing this mutant. Interestingly, the growth of DC3000 also increased in Ler plants treated with E-2-hexenal. This stronger growth was not dependent on the JA-signaling component MYC2, but on ORA59, an integrator of JA and ethylene signaling pathways, and on the production of coronatine by DC3000. GLVs may have multiple effects on plant–pathogen interactions, in this case reducing resistance to Pseudomonas syringae via JA and ORA59.
green leaf volatiles; Pseudomonas syringae; jasmonate; coronatine; hormone crosstalk
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
Plant defense against pests and pathogens is known to be conferred by either salicylic acid (SA) or jasmonic acid (JA)/ethylene (ET) pathways, depending on infection or herbivore-grazing strategy. It is well attested that SA and JA/ET pathways are mutually antagonistic allowing defense responses to be tailored to particular biotic stresses. Nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as a major signal influencing resistance mediated by both signaling pathways but no attempt has been made to integrate NO into established SA/JA/ET interactions. NO has been shown to act as an inducer or suppressor of signaling along each pathway. NO will initiate SA biosynthesis and nitrosylate key cysteines on TGA-class transcription factors to aid in the initiation of SA-dependent gene expression. Against this, S-nitrosylation of NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED PROTEINS1 (NPR1) will promote the NPR1 oligomerization within the cytoplasm to reduce TGA activation. In JA biosynthesis, NO will initiate the expression of JA biosynthetic enzymes, presumably to over-come any antagonistic effects of SA on JA-mediated transcription. NO will also initiate the expression of ET biosynthetic genes but a suppressive role is also observed in the S-nitrosylation and inhibition of S-adenosylmethionine transferases which provides methyl groups for ET production. Based on these data a model for NO action is proposed but we have also highlighted the need to understand when and how inductive and suppressive steps are used.
nitric oxide; salicylic acid; jasmonic acid; ethylenes; pathogens; resistance mechanisms; signaling pathways
In plant effector-triggered immunity (ETI), intracellular nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) receptors are activated by specific pathogen effectors. The Arabidopsis
TIR (Toll-Interleukin-1 receptor domain)-NLR (denoted TNL) gene pair, RPS4 and RRS1, confers resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst) strain DC3000 expressing the Type III-secreted effector, AvrRps4. Nuclear accumulation of AvrRps4, RPS4, and the TNL resistance regulator EDS1 is necessary for ETI. RRS1 possesses a C-terminal “WRKY” transcription factor DNA binding domain suggesting that important RPS4/RRS1 recognition and/or resistance signaling events occur at the nuclear chromatin. In Arabidopsis accession Ws-0, the RPS4Ws/RRS1Ws allelic pair governs resistance to Pst/AvrRps4 accompanied by host programed cell death (pcd). In accession Col-0, RPS4Col/RRS1Col effectively limits Pst/AvrRps4 growth without pcd. Constitutive expression of HA-StrepII tagged RPS4Col (in a 35S:RPS4-HS line) confers temperature-conditioned EDS1-dependent auto-immunity. Here we show that a high (28°C, non-permissive) to moderate (19°C, permissive) temperature shift of 35S:RPS4-HS plants can be used to follow defense-related transcriptional dynamics without a pathogen effector trigger. By comparing responses of 35S:RPS4-HS with 35S:RPS4-HS
rrs1-11 and 35S:RPS4-HS
eds1-2 mutants, we establish that RPS4Col auto-immunity depends entirely on EDS1 and partially on RRS1Col. Examination of gene expression microarray data over 24 h after temperature shift reveals a mainly quantitative RRS1Col contribution to up- or down-regulation of a small subset of RPS4Col-reprogramed, EDS1-dependent genes. We find significant over-representation of WRKY transcription factor binding W-box cis-elements within the promoters of these genes. Our data show that RRS1Col contributes to temperature-conditioned RPS4Col auto-immunity and are consistent with activated RPS4Col engaging RRS1Col for resistance signaling.
resistance gene pair; temperature shift; EDS1 signaling; biotic stress; programed cell death; transcriptional reprograming
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
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play an important role in plant host-microbe interactions. In this study, we show that the plant RBP known as FPA, which regulates 3′-end mRNA polyadenylation, negatively regulates basal resistance to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis. A custom microarray analysis reveals that flg22, a peptide derived from bacterial flagellins, induces expression of alternatively polyadenylated isoforms of mRNA encoding the defence-related transcriptional repressor ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR 4 (ERF4), which is regulated by FPA. Flg22 induces expression of a novel isoform of ERF4 that lacks the ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif, while FPA inhibits this induction. The EAR-lacking isoform of ERF4 acts as a transcriptional activator in vivo and suppresses the flg22-dependent reactive oxygen species burst. We propose that FPA controls use of proximal polyadenylation sites of ERF4, which quantitatively limit the defence response output.
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