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Plant J. 2005 Jul;43(2):165-80.

ERECTA receptor-like kinase and heterotrimeric G protein from Arabidopsis are required for resistance to the necrotrophic fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina.

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Departamento de Biotecnología-UPM, E.T.S. Ingenieros Agrónomos, Avda. Complutense, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.


Arabidopsis resistance to the necrotrophic fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina is complex and depends on the ethylene, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid signaling pathways. A quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of resistance to this fungus was performed using two populations of recombinant inbred lines. Three loci QRP1-QRP3 (for Quantitative Resistance to Plectosphaerella) were identified and mapped on chromosome 2 (QRP1 and QRP2) and 5 (QRP3). QRP1, the locus showing the strongest effect, was found to correspond to the ERECTA (ER) gene that encodes a receptor-like-kinase (RLK), which has been previously implicated in plant development, and resistance to the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum. The leucine-rich repeat and the kinase domains of ERECTA were specifically required for resistance to P. cucumerina, as er mutant alleles impaired in any of these domains showed enhanced susceptibility to this fungus, but not to other virulent pathogens. The involvement of the ER-signaling pathway in resistance to P. cucumerina was supported by the fact that three mutants defective in this pathway, elk2, elk5 and elk4 (agb1-1), which encodes the beta-subunit of Arabidopsis heterotrimeric G protein, were also impaired in their resistance to this fungus. The putative function of the Arabidopsis heterotrimeric G protein in resistance to P. cucumerina suggested by the enhanced susceptibility of agb1-1 was corroborated by the demonstration that a null allele (gpa1-4) of the G protein alpha-subunit showed enhanced resistance to this pathogen. Deposition of beta-1,3-glucan callose at infection sites was specifically impaired in er-1 and agb1-1 mutants upon P. cucumerina inoculation. Taken together, these data suggest a putative function of ERECTA and heterotrimeric G protein in P. cucumerina perception.

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