Stilbenes are central phytoalexins in Vitis, and induction of the key enzyme stilbene synthase (STS) is pivotal for disease resistance. Here, we address the potential for breeding resistance using an STS allele isolated from Chinese wild grapevine Vitis pseudoreticulata (VpSTS) by comparison with its homologue from Vitis vinifera cv. ‘Carigane’ (VvSTS). Although the coding regions of both alleles are very similar (>99% identity on the amino acid level), the promoter regions are significantly different. By expression in Arabidopsis as a heterologous system, we show that the allele from the wild Chinese grapevine can confer accumulation of stilbenes and resistance against the powdery mildew Golovinomyces cichoracearum, whereas the allele from the vinifera cultivar cannot. To dissect the upstream signalling driving the activation of this promoter, we used a dual-luciferase reporter system in a grapevine cell culture. We show elevated responsiveness of the promoter from the wild grape to salicylic acid (SA) and to the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flg22, equal induction of both alleles by jasmonic acid (JA), and a lack of response to the cell death-inducing elicitor Harpin. This elevated SA response of the VpSTS promoter depends on calcium influx, oxidative burst by RboH, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling, and JA synthesis. We integrate the data in the context of a model where the resistance of V. pseudoreticulata is linked to a more efficient recruitment of SA signalling for phytoalexin synthesis.
Roots are increasingly recognized as key regulators of aboveground interactions between plants and other organisms. In this issue of Journal of Experimental Botany, Agut et al. (pages 5711–5723) enrich our understanding of the underground signalling mechanisms in the shoot–root–shoot (SRS) loop that regulates canopy-wide defence responses after a leaf is attacked.
Host-associated viral populations, viromes, have been understudied relative to their contribution to human physiology. Viruses interact with host gene networks, influencing both health and disease. Analysis of host gene networks in the absence of virome analysis risks missing important network information.
Global yields of potato and tomato crops have fallen owing to potato late blight disease, which is caused by Phytophthora infestans. Although most commercial potato varieties are susceptible to blight, many wild potato relatives show variation for resistance and are therefore a potential source of Resistance to P. infestans (Rpi) genes. Resistance breeding has exploited Rpi genes from closely related tuber-bearing potato relatives, but is laborious and slow1, 2, 3. Here we report that the wild, diploid non-tuber-bearing Solanum americanum harbors multiple Rpi genes. We combine resistance (R) gene sequence capture (RenSeq)4 with single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing (SMRT RenSeq) to clone Rpi-amr3i. This technology should enable de novo assembly of complete nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat receptor (NLR) genes, their regulatory elements and complex multi-NLR loci from uncharacterized germplasm. SMRT RenSeq can be applied to rapidly clone multiple R genes for engineering pathogen-resistant crops.
The plant hormone auxin is perceived by the nuclear F-box protein TIR1 receptor family and regulates gene expression through degradation of Aux/IAA transcriptional repressors. Several studies have revealed the importance of the proteasome in auxin signalling, but details on how the proteolytic machinery is regulated and how this relates to degradation of Aux/IAA proteins remains unclear. Here we show that an Arabidopsis homologue of the proteasome inhibitor PI31, which we name PROTEASOME REGULATOR1 (PTRE1), is a positive regulator of the 26S proteasome. Loss-of-function ptre1 mutants are insensitive to auxin-mediated suppression of proteasome activity, show diminished auxin-induced degradation of Aux/IAA proteins and display auxin-related phenotypes. We found that auxin alters the subcellular localization of PTRE1, suggesting this may be part of the mechanism by which it reduces proteasome activity. Based on these results, we propose that auxin regulates proteasome activity via PTRE1 to fine-tune the homoeostasis of Aux/IAA repressor proteins thus modifying auxin activity.
Chloroplasts are cytoplasmic organelles for photosynthesis in eukaryotic cells. In addition, recent studies have shown that chloroplasts have a critical role in plant innate immunity against invading pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic by-product from photosynthesis, which also functions as a signaling compound in plant innate immunity. Therefore, it is important to regulate the level of hydrogen peroxide in response to pathogens. Chloroplasts maintain components of the redox detoxification system including enzymes such as 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (2-Cys Prxs), and NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase C (NTRC). However, the significance of 2-Cys Prxs and NTRC in the molecular basis of nonhost disease resistance is largely unknown. We evaluated the roles of Prxs and NTRC using knock-out mutants of Arabidopsis in response to nonhost Pseudomonas syringae pathogens. Plants lacking functional NTRC showed localized cell death (LCD) accompanied by the elevated accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in response to nonhost pathogens. Interestingly, the Arabidopsis ntrc mutant showed enhanced bacterial growth and disease susceptibility of nonhost pathogens. Furthermore, the expression profiles of the salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA)-mediated signaling pathways and phytohormone analyses including SA and JA revealed that the Arabidopsis ntrc mutant shows elevated JA-mediated signaling pathways in response to nonhost pathogen. These results suggest the critical role of NTRC in plant innate immunity against nonhost P. syringae pathogens.
Endocytosis and endosomal trafficking are essential processes in cells that control the dynamics and turnover of plasma membrane proteins, such as receptors, transporters, and cell wall biosynthetic enzymes. Plasma membrane proteins (cargo) are internalized by endocytosis through clathrin-dependent or clathrin-independent mechanism and delivered to early endosomes. From the endosomes, cargo proteins are recycled back to the plasma membrane via different pathways, which rely on small GTPases and the retromer complex. Proteins that are targeted for degradation through ubiquitination are sorted into endosomal vesicles by the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) machinery for degradation in the vacuole. Endocytic and endosomal trafficking regulates many cellular, developmental, and physiological processes, including cellular polarization, hormone transport, metal ion homeostasis, cytokinesis, pathogen responses, and development. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms that mediate the recognition and sorting of endocytic and endosomal cargos, the vesiculation processes that mediate their trafficking, and their connection to cellular and physiological responses in plants.
Plant small RNAs play important roles in gene regulation during pathogen infection. Here we show that miR863-3p is induced by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae carrying various effectors. Early during infection, miR863-3p silences two negative regulators of plant defence, atypical receptor-like pseudokinase1 (ARLPK1) and ARLPK2, both lacking extracellular domains and kinase activity, through mRNA degradation to promote immunity. ARLPK1 associates with, and may function through another negative immune regulator ARLPK1-interacting receptor-like kinase 1 (AKIK1), an active kinase with an extracellular domain. Later during infection, miR863-3p silences SERRATE, which is essential for miRNA accumulation and positively regulates defence, through translational inhibition. This results in decreased miR863-3p levels, thus forming a negative feedback loop to attenuate immune responses after successful defence. This is an example of a miRNA that sequentially targets both negative and positive regulators of immunity through two modes of action to fine-tune the timing and amplitude of defence responses.
Symbiosis receptor kinase (SYMRK) is indispensable for activation of root nodule symbiosis (RNS) at both epidermal and cortical levels and is functionally conserved in legumes. Previously, we reported SYMRK to be phosphorylated on “gatekeeper” Tyr both in vitro as well as in planta. Since gatekeeper phosphorylation was not necessary for activity, the significance remained elusive. Herein, we show that substituting gatekeeper with nonphosphorylatable residues like Phe or Ala significantly affected autophosphorylation on selected targets on activation segment/αEF and β3-αC loop of SYMRK. In addition, the same gatekeeper mutants failed to restore proper symbiotic features in a symrk null mutant where rhizobial invasion of the epidermis and nodule organogenesis was unaffected but rhizobia remain restricted to the epidermis in infection threads migrating parallel to the longitudinal axis of the root, resulting in extensive infection patches at the nodule apex. Thus, gatekeeper phosphorylation is critical for synchronizing epidermal/cortical responses in RNS.
Plant disease resistance occurs as a hypersensitive response (HR) at the site of attempted pathogen invasion. This specific event is initiated in response to recognition of pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) and subsequent PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Both PTI and ETI mechanisms are tightly connected with reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and disease resistance that involves distinct biphasic ROS production as one of its pivotal plant immune responses. This unique oxidative burst is strongly dependent on the resistant cultivars because a monophasic ROS burst is a hallmark of the susceptible cultivars. However, the cause of the differential ROS burst remains unknown. In the study here, we revealed the plausible underlying mechanism of the differential ROS burst through functional understanding of the Magnaporthe oryzae (M. oryzae) AVR effector, AVR-Pii. We performed yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screening using AVRPii as bait and isolated rice NADP-malic enzyme2 (Os-NADP-ME2) as the rice target protein. To our surprise, deletion of the rice Os-NADP-ME2 gene in a resistant rice cultivar disrupted innate immunity against the rice blast fungus. Malic enzyme activity and inhibition studies demonstrated that AVR-Pii proteins specifically inhibit in vitro NADP-ME activity. Overall, we demonstrate that rice blast fungus, M. oryzae attenuates the host ROS burst via AVR-Pii-mediated inhibition of Os-NADP-ME2, which is indispensable in ROS metabolism for the innate immunity of rice. This characterization of the regulation of the host oxidative burst will help to elucidate how the products of AVR genes function associated with virulence of the pathogen.
It is the antibodies that detect pathogens in order to fight infections and prevent disease, but there is an entire team of immune cells that work together
Via Krishan Maggon , Gilbert C FAURE, Kenzibit
The CRISPR–Cas systems, as exemplified by CRISPR–Cas9, are RNA-guided adaptive immune systems used by bacteria and archaea to defend against viral infection1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The CRISPR–Cpf1 system, a new class 2 CRISPR–Cas system, mediates robust DNA interference in human cells1, 8, 9, 10. Although functionally conserved, Cpf1 and Cas9 differ in many aspects including their guide RNAs and substrate specificity. Here we report the 2.38 Å crystal structure of the CRISPR RNA (crRNA)-bound Lachnospiraceae bacterium ND2006 Cpf1 (LbCpf1). LbCpf1 has a triangle-shaped architecture with a large positively charged channel at the centre. Recognized by the oligonucleotide-binding domain of LbCpf1, the crRNA adopts a highly distorted conformation stabilized by extensive intramolecular interactions and the (Mg(H2O)6)2+ ion. The oligonucleotide-binding domain also harbours a looped-out helical domain that is important for LbCpf1 substrate binding. Binding of crRNA or crRNA lacking the guide sequence induces marked conformational changes but no oligomerization of LbCpf1. Our study reveals the crRNA recognition mechanism and provides insight into crRNA-guided substrate binding of LbCpf1, establishing a framework for engineering LbCpf1 to improve its efficiency and specificity for genome editing.
Some pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in plants, such as PEPRs, sense endogenous, damage‐associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that are released during pathogen infection. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Yamada and colleagues show that genetic or pathogen‐induced depletion of Arabidopsis BAK1, a co‐receptor for multiple PRRs, primes immune activation through PEPRs. The work illustrates a link between pathogen‐induced perturbation of BAK1 and DAMP signaling.
It is an apparent conundrum how plants evolved effector-triggered immunity (ETI), involving programmed cell death (PCD), as a major defence mechanism against biotrophic pathogens, because ETI-associated PCD could leave them vulnerable to necrotrophic pathogens that thrive on dead host cells. Interestingly, during ETI, the normally antagonistic defence hormones, salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) associated with defence against biotrophs and necrotrophs respectively, both accumulate to high levels. In this study, we made the surprising finding that JA is a positive regulator of RPS2-mediated ETI. Early induction of JA-responsive genes and de novo JA synthesis following SA accumulation is activated through the SA receptors NPR3 and NPR4, instead of the JA receptor COI1. We provide evidence that NPR3 and NPR4 may mediate this effect by promoting degradation of the JA transcriptional repressor JAZs. This unique interplay between SA and JA offers a possible explanation of how plants can mount defence against a biotrophic pathogen without becoming vulnerable to necrotrophic pathogens.
Mycorrhizal symbioses are one of the most ubiquitous inter-organism relationships on the Earth, and particularly so in the terrestrial environment (Smith and Read, 2008). These relationships have major roles in the functioning of ecosystems, and are of large importance for humans via biodiversity maintenance, contribution to biogeochemical cycles, food and timber production, and other benefits (Gianinazzi et al., 2010, van der Heijden et al., 2015 and Bender et al., 2016). Thus, thorough understanding of the diversity of mycorrhizal interactions—diversity of interacting plants, fungi, and diversity of mycorrhizal types—and ultimately on mycorrhizal functioning is timely.
This Special Issue contains six papers that were presented as oral or poster presentations at the 8th International Conference on Mycorrhizas (ICOM8) in Flagstaff, Arizona, August 3-7th 2015 (Chagnon et al., 2016), including presentations at the opening symposium of the conference, “Diversity and biogeography of mycorrhizal fungi”. The papers span an array of topics on mycorrhizal diversity: mycorrhizal types from arbuscular mycorrhiza (Lekberg and Waller, 2016 and Öpik and Davison, 2016) to ectomycorrhiza (Lamit et al., 2016) and ericoid mycorrhiza (Leopold, 2016), the distribution of mycorrhizal types across the USA (Swaty et al., 2016), the diversity of mycorrhizal partners (Lekberg and Waller, 2016, Öpik and Davison, 2016 and Swaty et al., 2016), and both theoretical (Chagnon, 2016) and empirical (Lekberg and Waller, 2016) approaches to disentangling host-fungal relationships across a range of genetic scales (Lamit et al., 2016). This fine sample of research topics, results, ideas and overviews reflects the remarkable contributions of mycorrhizal researchers to a breadth of research areas: from taxonomy to genetics and physiology, spatial scales ranging from cells to ecosystems, from individuals (autecology) to geochemical cycles, and the development of methodological approaches and ecological theory (e.g., Bever et al., 2010, van der Heijden et al., 2015, Moeller and Neubert, 2016 and Peay, 2016).
Plant defense responses to pathogens involve massive transcriptional reprogramming. Recently, differential coexpression analysis has been developed to study the rewiring of gene networks through microarray data, which is becoming an important complement to traditional differential expression analysis. Using time-series microarray data of Arabidopsis thaliana infected with Pseudomonas syringae, we analyzed Arabidopsis defense responses to P. syringae through differential coexpression analysis. Overall, we found that differential coexpression was a common phenomenon of plant immunity. Genes that were frequently involved in differential coexpression tend to be related to plant immune responses. Importantly, many of those genes have similar average expression levels between normal plant growth and pathogen infection but have different coexpression partners. By integrating the Arabidopsis regulatory network into our analysis, we identified several transcription factors that may be regulators of differential coexpression during plant immune responses. We also observed extensive differential coexpression between genes within the same metabolic pathways. Several metabolic pathways, such as photosynthesis light reactions, exhibited significant changes in expression correlation between normal growth and pathogen infection. Taken together, differential coexpression analysis provides a new strategy for analyzing transcriptional data related to plant defense responses and new insights into the understanding of plant-pathogen interactions.
Asian soybean rust (ASR), caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is one of the most economically important crop diseases, but is only treatable with fungicides, which are becoming less effective owing to the emergence of fungicide resistance. There are no commercial soybean cultivars with durable resistance to P. pachyrhizi, and although soybean resistance loci have been mapped, no resistance genes have been cloned. We report the cloning of a P. pachyrhizi resistance gene CcRpp1 (Cajanus cajan Resistance against Phakopsora pachyrhizi 1) from pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) and show that CcRpp1 confers full resistance to P. pachyrhizi in soybean. Our findings show that legume species related to soybean such as pigeonpea, cowpea, common bean and others could provide a valuable and diverse pool of resistance traits for crop improvement.
Wild relatives of domesticated crop species harbor multiple, diverse, disease resistance (R) genes that could be used to engineer sustainable disease control. However, breeding R genes into crop lines often requires long breeding timelines of 5–15 years to break linkage between R genes and deleterious alleles (linkage drag). Further, when R genes are bred one at a time into crop lines, the protection that they confer is often overcome within a few seasons by pathogen evolution1. If several cloned R genes were available, it would be possible to pyramid R genes2 in a crop, which might provide more durable resistance1. We describe a three-step method (MutRenSeq)-that combines chemical mutagenesis with exome capture and sequencing for rapid R gene cloning. We applied MutRenSeq to clone stem rust resistance genes Sr22 and Sr45 from hexaploid bread wheat. MutRenSeq can be applied to other commercially relevant crops and their relatives, including, for example, pea, bean, barley, oat, rye, rice and maize.
Fungi and oomycetes include deep and diverse lineages of eukaryotic plant pathogens. The last 10 years have seen the sequencing of the genomes of a multitude of species of these so-called filamentous plant pathogens. Already, fundamental concepts have emerged. Filamentous plant pathogen genomes tend to harbor large repertoires of genes encoding virulence effectors that modulate host plant processes. Effector genes are not randomly distributed across the genomes but tend to be associated with compartments enriched in repetitive sequences and transposable elements. These findings have led to the ‘two-speed genome’ model in which filamentous pathogen genomes have a bipartite architecture with gene sparse, repeat rich compartments serving as a cradle for adaptive evolution. Here, we review this concept and discuss how plant pathogens are great model systems to study evolutionary adaptations at multiple time scales. We will also introduce the next phase of research on this topic.
Plants possess an innate immune system capable of restricting invasion by most potential pathogens. At the cell surface, recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and/or damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) represents the first event for promptly mounting an effective immune response. Pathogens have evolved effectors that block MAMP-triggered immunity. The Pseudomonas syringae effector AvrPto abolishes immunity triggered by the peptide MAMPs flg22 and elf18, derived from the bacterial flagellin and Elongation factor Tu, respectively, by inhibiting the kinase function of the corresponding receptors FLS2 and EFR, as well as of their co-receptors BAK1 and BKK1. Oligogalacturonides (OGs), a well-known class of DAMPs, are oligomers of alpha-1,4-linked galacturonosyl residues released upon partial degradation of the plant cell wall homogalacturonan. We show here that AvrPto affects only a subset of the OG-triggered immune responses and that, among these responses, only a subset is affected by the concomitant loss of BAK1 and BKK1. On the other hand, the antagonistic effect on auxin-related responses is not affected by either AvrPto or the loss of BAK1/BKK1. These observations reveal an unprecedented complexity among the MAMP/DAMP response cascades. We also show that the signaling system mediated by Peps, another class of DAMPs, and their receptors PEPRs, contributes to OG-activated immunity. We hypothesize that OGs are sensed through multiple and partially redundant perception/transduction complexes, some targeted by AvrPto but not necessarily comprise BAK1 and BKK1. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi translocate polyphosphate through hyphae over a long distance to deliver to the host. More than three decades ago, suppression of host transpiration was found to decelerate phosphate delivery of the fungal symbiont, leading us to hypothesize that transpiration provides a primary driving force for polyphosphate translocation, probably via creating hyphal water flow in which fungal aquaporin(s) may be involved. The impact of transpiration suppression on polyphosphate translocation through hyphae of Rhizophagus clarus was evaluated. An aquaporin gene expressed in intraradical mycelia was characterized and knocked down by virus-induced gene silencing to investigate the involvement of the gene in polyphosphate translocation. Rhizophagus clarus aquaporin 3 (RcAQP3) that was most highly expressed in intraradical mycelia encodes an aquaglyceroporin responsible for water transport across the plasma membrane. Knockdown of RcAQP3 as well as the suppression of host transpiration decelerated polyphosphate translocation in proportion to the levels of knockdown and suppression, respectively. These results provide the first insight into the mechanism underlying long-distance polyphosphate translocation in mycorrhizal associations at the molecular level, in which host transpiration and the fungal aquaporin play key roles. A hypothetical model of the translocation is proposed for further elucidation of the mechanism.
Plant pathogens deliver effectors to manipulate host processes. We know little about how fungal and oomycete effectors target host proteins to promote susceptibility, yet such knowledge is vital to understand crop disease. We show that either transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana, or stable transgenic expression in potato (Solanum tuberosum), of the Phytophthora infestans RXLR effector Pi02860 enhances leaf colonization by the pathogen. Expression of Pi02860 also attenuates cell death triggered by the P. infestans microbe-associated molecular pattern INF1, indicating that the effector suppresses pattern-triggered immunity. However, the effector does not attenuate cell death triggered by Cf4/Avr4 coexpression, showing that it does not suppress all cell death activated by cell surface receptors. Pi02860 interacts in yeast two-hybrid assays with potato NPH3/RPT2-LIKE1 (NRL1), a predicted CULLIN3-associated ubiquitin E3 ligase. Interaction of Pi02860 in planta was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays. Virus-induced gene silencing of NRL1 in N. benthamiana resulted in reduced P. infestans colonization and accelerated INF1-mediated cell death, indicating that this host protein acts as a negative regulator of immunity. Moreover, whereas NRL1 virus-induced gene silencing had no effect on the ability of the P. infestans effector Avr3a to suppress INF1-mediated cell death, such suppression by Pi02860 was significantly attenuated, indicating that this activity of Pi02860 is mediated by NRL1. Transient overexpression of NRL1 resulted in the suppression of INF1-mediated cell death and enhanced P. infestans leaf colonization, demonstrating that NRL1 acts as a susceptibility factor to promote late blight disease.
Our understanding of plant biotic interactions has grown significantly in recent years with the identification of the mechanisms involved in innate immunity, hormone signaling, and secondary metabolism. The impact of such interactions on primary metabolism and the role of metabolic signals in the response of the plants, however, remain far less explored. The SnRK1 (SNF1-related kinase 1) kinases act as metabolic sensors, integrating very diverse stress conditions, and are key in maintaining energy homeostasis for growth and survival. Consistently, an important role is emerging for these kinases as regulators of biotic stress responses triggered by viral, bacterial, fungal, and oomycete infections as well as by herbivory. While this identifies SnRK1 as a promising target for directed modification or selection for more quantitative and sustainable resistance, its central function also increases the chances of unwanted side effects on growth and fitness, stressing the need for identification and in-depth characterization of the mechanisms and target processes involved.
Background - The protist Plasmodiophora brassicae is a soil-borne pathogen of cruciferous species and the causal agent of clubroot disease of Brassicas including agriculturally important crops such as canola/rapeseed (Brassica napus). P. brassicae has remained an enigmatic plant pathogen and is a rare example of an obligate biotroph that resides entirely inside the host plant cell. The pathogen is the cause of severe yield losses and can render infested fields unsuitable for Brassica crop growth due to the persistence of resting spores in the soil for up to 20 years.
Results - To provide insight into the biology of the pathogen and its interaction with its primary host B. napus, we produced a draft genome of P. brassicae pathotypes 3 and 6 (Pb3 and Pb6) that differ in their host range. Pb3 is highly virulent on B. napus (but also infects other Brassica species) while Pb6 infects only vegetable Brassica crops. Both the Pb3 and Pb6 genomes are highly compact, each with a total size of 24.2 Mb, and contain less than 2 % repetitive DNA. Clustering of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of Pb3, Pb6 and three additional re-sequenced pathotypes (Pb2, Pb5 and Pb8) shows a high degree of correlation of cluster grouping with host range. The Pb3 genome features significant reduction of intergenic space with multiple examples of overlapping untranslated regions (UTRs). Dependency on the host for essential nutrients is evident from the loss of genes for the biosynthesis of thiamine and some amino acids and the presence of a wide range of transport proteins, including some unique to P. brassicae. The annotated genes of Pb3 include those with a potential role in the regulation of the plant growth hormones cytokinin and auxin. The expression profile of Pb3 genes, including putative effectors, during infection and their potential role in manipulation of host defence is discussed.
Conclusion - The P. brassicae genome sequence reveals a compact genome, a dependency of the pathogen on its host for some essential nutrients and a potential role in the regulation of host plant cytokinin and auxin. Genome annotation supported by RNA sequencing reveals significant reduction in intergenic space which, in addition to low repeat content, has likely contributed to the P. brassicae compact genome.
One branch of plant immunity is mediated through nucleotide-binding/Leu-rich repeat (NB-LRR) family proteins that recognize specific effectors encoded by pathogens. Members of the I2-like family constitute a well-conserved subgroup of NB-LRRs from Solanaceae possessing a coiled-coil (CC) domain at their N termini. We show here that the CC domains of several I2-like proteins are able to induce a hypersensitive response (HR), a form of programmed cell death associated with disease resistance. Using yeast two-hybrid screens, we identified the chloroplastic protein Thylakoid Formation1 (THF1) as an interacting partner for several I2-like CC domains. Co-immunoprecipitations and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays confirmed that THF1 and I2-like CC domains interact in planta and that these interactions take place in the cytosol. Several HR-inducing I2-like CC domains have a negative effect on the accumulation of THF1, suggesting that the latter is destabilized by active CC domains. To confirm this model, we investigated N′, which recognizes the coat protein of most Tobamoviruses, as a prototypical member of the I2-like family. Transient expression and gene silencing data indicated that THF1 functions as a negative regulator of cell death and that activation of full-length N′ results in the destabilization of THF1. Consistent with the known function of THF1 in maintaining chloroplast homeostasis, we show that the HR induced by N′ is light-dependent. Together, our results define, to our knowledge, novel molecular mechanisms linking light and chloroplasts to the induction of cell death by a subgroup of NB-LRR proteins.
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