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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 22;102(8):3135-40. Epub 2005 Feb 9.

Recruitment and interaction dynamics of plant penetration resistance components in a plasma membrane microdomain.

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  • 1Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Cologne, Germany.


Many fungal pathogens must enter plant cells for successful colonization. Barley mildew resistance locus o (Mlo) is required for host cell invasion upon attack by the ascomycete powdery mildew fungus, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei, and encodes the founder of a family of heptahelical integral membrane proteins unique to plants. Recessively inherited loss-of-function mutant alleles (mlo) result in effective penetration resistance to all isolates of the biotrophic parasite. We used noninvasive fluorescence-based imaging to show that fluorescently tagged MLO protein becomes redistributed in the plasma membrane (PM) and accumulates beneath fungal appressoria coincident with the initiation of pathogen entry into host cells. Polarized MLO accumulation occurs once upon attack and appears to be independent of actin cytoskeleton function. Likewise, barley ROR2 syntaxin, a genetically defined component of penetration resistance to B. graminis f.sp. hordei, and a subset of predicted PM-resident proteins become redistributed to fungal entry sites. We previously identified calmodulin, a cytoplasmic calcium sensor, as an interactor and positive regulator of MLO activity and demonstrate here by FRET microscopy an increase in MLO/calmodulin FRET around penetration sites coincident with successful host cell entry. Our data provide evidence for the formation of a pathogen-triggered PM microdomain that is reminiscent of membrane microdomains (lipid rafts) induced upon attempted entry of pathogenic bacteria in animal cells.

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