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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 5;107(1):460-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0912492107. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

Laser microdissection of Arabidopsis cells at the powdery mildew infection site reveals site-specific processes and regulators.

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


To elucidate host processes and components required for the sustained growth and reproduction of the obligate biotrophic fungus Golovinomyces orontii on Arabidopsis thaliana, laser microdissection was used to isolate cells at the site of infection at 5 days postinfection for downstream global Arabidopsis expression profiling. Site-specific profiling increased sensitivity dramatically, allowing us to identify specific host processes, process components, and their putative regulators hidden in previous whole-leaf global expression analyses. For example, 67 transcription factors exhibited altered expression at the powdery mildew (PM) infection site, with subsets of these playing known or inferred roles in photosynthesis, cold/dehydration responses, defense, auxin signaling, and the cell cycle. Using integrated informatics analyses, we constructed putative regulatory networks for a subset of these processes and provided strong support for host cell cycle modulation at the PM infection site. Further experimentation revealed induced host endoreduplication occurred exclusively at the infection site and led us to identify MYB3R4 as a transcriptional regulator of this process. Induced endoreduplication was abrogated in myb3r4 mutants, and G. orontii growth and reproduction were reduced. This suggests that, by increasing gene copy number, localized endoreduplication serves as a mechanism to meet the enhanced metabolic demands imposed by the fungus, which acquires all its nutrients from the plant host.

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