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EMBO J. 1992 Dec;11(13):4677-84.

Rapid activation of a novel plant defense gene is strictly dependent on the Arabidopsis RPM1 disease resistance locus.

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Max-Delbrück-Laboratorium, Max-Planck-Institüt für Züchtungsforschung, Köln, Germany.


We cloned and sequenced cDNAs encoded by a novel plant defense gene, ELI3, from parsley and Arabidopsis thaliana. The predicted product shares no homology to known sequences. ELI3 mRNA accumulates in A. thaliana leaves in response to challenge with phytopathogenic Pseudomonas syringae strains. The timing and magnitude of this response are dictated by the genetics of the plant-pathogen interaction being analyzed. During incompatible interactions, where resistance in the plant genotype Col-0 is dictated by the dominant RPM1 locus, ELI3 mRNA accumulates to high levels 5-10 h post-inoculation. This kinetic behavior is also generated by the presence of a cloned bacterial avirulence gene, in otherwise virulent bacteria, which triggers resistance mediated via RPM1 action. The phenotypic outcome is a hypersensitive resistance reaction visible 8-15 h post-infiltration. Thus, the induction kinetics of ELI3 mRNA accumulation are consistent with a functional role for the ELI3 gene product in establishing the resistant phenotype. In contrast, during compatible interactions with the susceptible plant genotype Nd-0, which is homozygous recessive at the rpm1 locus, ELI3 mRNA accumulates significantly only after 15 h. We show genetically that ELI3 activation is strictly dependent on the presence of dominant alleles at RPM1 using an assay generalizable to any pathogen induced plant defense phenomena.

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