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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jan 2;98(1):373-8.

Negative regulation of defense responses in plants by a conserved MAPKK kinase.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-3700, USA.


The enhanced disease resistance 1 (edr1) mutation of Arabidopsis confers resistance to powdery mildew disease caused by the fungus Erysiphe cichoracearum. Resistance mediated by the edr1 mutation is correlated with induction of several defense responses, including host cell death. Double mutant analysis revealed that all edr1-associated phenotypes are suppressed by mutations that block salicylic acid (SA) perception (nim1) or reduce SA production (pad4 and eds1). The NahG transgene, which lowers endogenous SA levels, also suppressed edr1. In contrast, the ein2 mutation did not suppress edr1-mediated resistance and associated phenotypes, indicating that ethylene and jasmonic acid-induced responses are not required for edr1 resistance. The EDR1 gene was isolated by positional cloning and was found to encode a putative MAP kinase kinase kinase similar to CTR1, a negative regulator of ethylene responses in Arabidopsis. Taken together, these data suggest that EDR1 functions at the top of a MAP kinase cascade that negatively regulates SA-inducible defense responses. Putative orthologs of EDR1 are present in monocots such as rice and barley, indicating that EDR1 may regulate defense responses in a wide range of crop species.

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