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Cell. 1994 May 20;77(4):551-63.

Programmed cell death in plants: a pathogen-triggered response activated coordinately with multiple defense functions.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


In plants, the hypersensitive response (HR) to pathogens involves rapid cell death, which is hypothesized to arise from the activation of a cell death program. We describe mutant A. thaliana plants that contain lesions in a single accelerated cell death (ACD) gene called ACD2 and that bypass the need for pathogen exposure to induce the HR. acd2 plants that develop spontaneous lesions show typical HR characteristics both within the necrotic tissue and within the healthy part of the plant, including: modification of plant cell walls, resistance to bacterial pathogens, and accumulation of defense-related gene transcripts, the signal molecule salicylic acid and an antimicrobial compound. We propose that the ACD2 gene is involved in a pathway(s) that negatively regulates a genetically programmed HR.

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