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Bioinform Biol Insights. 2014 Feb 13;8:35-44. doi: 10.4137/BBI.S13462.. eCollection 2014.

Probing the unknowns in cytokinin-mediated immune defense in Arabidopsis with systems biology approaches.

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1
Functional Genomics and Systems Biology Group, Department of Bioinformatics, Biocenter, Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

Plant hormones involving salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (Et), and auxin, gibberellins, and abscisic acid (ABA) are known to regulate host immune responses. However, plant hormone cytokinin has the potential to modulate defense signaling including SA and JA. It promotes plant pathogen and herbivore resistance; underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Using systems biology approaches, we unravel hub points of immune interaction mediated by cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis. High-confidence Arabidopsis protein-protein interactions (PPI) are coupled to changes in cytokinin-mediated gene expression. Nodes of the cellular interactome that are enriched in immune functions also reconstitute sub-networks. Topological analyses and their specific immunological relevance lead to the identification of functional hubs in cellular interactome. We discuss our identified immune hubs in light of an emerging model of cytokinin-mediated immune defense against pathogen infection in plants.

KEYWORDS:

cytokinin; gene expression; interaction networks; plant hormones; systems biology

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