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Plant Cell. 2004 Dec;16(12):3496-507. Epub 2004 Nov 17.

The N terminus of bacterial elongation factor Tu elicits innate immunity in Arabidopsis plants.

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  • 1Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center, Botanisches Institut der Universität Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

Innate immunity is based on the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Here, we show that elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), the most abundant bacterial protein, acts as a PAMP in Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassicaceae. EF-Tu is highly conserved in all bacteria and is known to be N-acetylated in Escherichia coli. Arabidopsis plants specifically recognize the N terminus of the protein, and an N-acetylated peptide comprising the first 18 amino acids, termed elf18, is fully active as inducer of defense responses. The shorter peptide, elf12, comprising the acetyl group and the first 12 N-terminal amino acids, is inactive as elicitor but acts as a specific antagonist for EF-Tu-related elicitors. In leaves of Arabidopsis plants, elf18 induces an oxidative burst and biosynthesis of ethylene, and it triggers resistance to subsequent infection with pathogenic bacteria.

PMID:
15548740
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC535888
Free PMC Article
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