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PLoS Pathog. 2015 Apr 1;11(4):e1004800. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004800. eCollection 2015 Apr.

Novel disease susceptibility factors for fungal necrotrophic pathogens in Arabidopsis.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-C.S.I.C, Valencia, Spain.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm/Potsdam, Germany.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm/Potsdam, Germany; ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Host cells use an intricate signaling system to respond to invasions by pathogenic microorganisms. Although several signaling components of disease resistance against necrotrophic fungal pathogens have been identified, our understanding for how molecular components and host processes contribute to plant disease susceptibility is rather sparse. Here, we identified four transcription factors (TFs) from Arabidopsis that limit pathogen spread. Arabidopsis mutants defective in any of these TFs displayed increased disease susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea and Plectosphaerella cucumerina, and a general activation of non-immune host processes that contribute to plant disease susceptibility. Transcriptome analyses revealed that the mutants share a common transcriptional signature of 77 up-regulated genes. We characterized several of the up-regulated genes that encode peptides with a secretion signal, which we named PROVIR (for provirulence) factors. Forward and reverse genetic analyses revealed that many of the PROVIRs are important for disease susceptibility of the host to fungal necrotrophs. The TFs and PROVIRs identified in our work thus represent novel genetic determinants for plant disease susceptibility to necrotrophic fungal pathogens.

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