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Plant J. 1993 Aug;4(2):327-41.

Arabidopsis mutants compromised for the control of cellular damage during pathogenesis and aging.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


Mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana which exhibit accelerated cell death in response to pathogens were isolated and characterized to gain insight into how symptom severity and disease resistance are modulated. This paper describes mutants that fall into one of two complementation groups that were identified. A novel feature of these mutants is that they are unable to control the rate and extent of cell death after exposure to a variety of stimuli that induce senescence responses. Thus, accelerated cell death (acd1) mutants show rapid, spreading necrotic responses to both virulent and avirulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola or pv. tomato pathogens and to ethylene. In addition, they develop necrotic lesions as they age and are sensitive to mechanical stress in a developmentally controlled manner. The acd1 mutants are also susceptible to opportunistic pathogens and show decreased growth inhibition of a heterologous pathogen of bean. The signal for lesion formation is not necessarily due to pathogens or wounding since plants grown aseptically also develop necrotic lesions. The lesions formed under a variety of conditions resemble those produced during a pathogen-induced rapid cell death response (the hypersensitive response, HR). Analysis of these acd1 mutants may help to explain the molecular basis of the HR and the relationship between this response and the normal process of senescence.

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