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Plant J. 1999 Nov;20(3):265-77.

The Arabidopsis RPS4 bacterial-resistance gene is a member of the TIR-NBS-LRR family of disease-resistance genes.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102, USA.


Plant-disease resistance (R) genes mediate the specific recognition of invading pathogens carrying cognate avirulence (avr) determinants. RPS4 is a disease-resistance locus on chromosome 5 of Arabidopsis thaliana specifying resistance to strains of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato expressing avrRps4. We have isolated the RPS4 gene using a map-based cloning approach. RPS4 encodes a predicted protein of 1217 amino acids that contains an N-terminus with homology to the intracellular domains of the Drosophila Toll protein and the mammalian interleukin-1 receptor (TIR domain), a tripartite nucleotide-binding site (NBS), and leucine-rich repeats (LRR). Incomplete splicing of the RPS4 mRNA was observed, which may give rise to truncated protein products consisting mainly of the TIR and NBS domains. These features classify RPS4 as a member of the TIR-NBS-LRR R gene family founded by N, L6 and RPP5, which determine resistance to viral, fungal and oomycete pathogens, respectively. Previous work has shown that RPS4, like other Arabidopsis TIR-NBS-LRR R genes specifying resistance to oomycetes, is dependent on a functional EDS1 allele for disease-resistance signaling. The characterization of RPS4 presented here thus establishes a role for TIR-NBS-LRR R genes in resistance to bacterial pathogens, and provides evidence for the model that dependence of R genes on EDS1 is determined by R protein structure, and not by pathogen type. The cloning of RPS4 and the previous isolation of avrRps4 provide the molecular tools for a genetic and molecular dissection of the TIR-NBS-LRR R gene signaling pathway in Arabidopsis.

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