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Plant J. 2003 Jun;34(6):768-77.

Loss of actin cytoskeletal function and EDS1 activity, in combination, severely compromises non-host resistance in Arabidopsis against wheat powdery mildew.

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1
Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JH, UK.

Abstract

Plant immunity against the majority of the microbial pathogens is conveyed by a phenomenon known as non-host resistance (NHR). This defence mechanism affords durable protection to plant species against given species of phytopathogens. We investigated the genetic basis of NHR in Arabidopsis against the wheat powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). Both primary and appressorial germ tubes were produced from individual Bgt conidia on the surface of the Arabidopsis leaves. Attempted infection occasionally resulted in successful penetration, which led to the development of an abnormal unilateral haustorium. Inoculation of a series of Arabidopsis defence-related mutants with Bgt resulted in the attenuation of reactive oxygen intermediate (ROI) production and salicylic acid (SA)-dependent defence gene expression in eds1, pad4 and nahG plants, which are known to be defective in some aspects of host resistance. Furthermore, Bgt often developed bilateral haustoria in the mutant Arabidopsis lines that closely resembled those formed in wheat. A similar decrease in NHR was observed following treatment of the wild-type Arabidopsis plants with cytochalasin E, an inhibitor of actin microfilament polymerisation. In eds1 mutants, inhibition of actin polymerisation severely compromised NHR in Arabidopsis against Bgt. This permitted completion of the Bgt infection cycle on these plants. Therefore, actin cytoskeletal function and EDS1 activity, in combination, are major contributors to NHR in Arabidopsis against wheat powdery mildew.

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