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Non-Host Defense Response in a Novel Arabidopsis-Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Pathosystem
Published: Friday, January 27, 2012
Author: Chuanfu An et al.

by Chuanfu An, Zhonglin Mou

Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc), is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus. Progress of breeding citrus canker-resistant varieties is modest due to limited resistant germplasm resources and lack of candidate genes for genetic manipulation. The objective of this study is to establish a novel heterologous pathosystem between Xcc and the well-established model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for defense mechanism dissection and resistance gene identification. Our results indicate that Xcc bacteria neither grow nor decline in Arabidopsis, but induce multiple defense responses including callose deposition, reactive oxygen species and salicylic aicd (SA) production, and defense gene expression, indicating that Xcc activates non-host resistance in Arabidopsis. Moreover, Xcc-induced defense gene expression is suppressed or attenuated in several well-characterized SA signaling mutants including eds1, pad4, eds5, sid2, and npr1. Interestingly, resistance to Xcc is compromised only in eds1, pad4, and eds5, but not in sid2 and npr1. However, combining sid2 and npr1 in the sid2npr1 double mutant compromises resistance to Xcc, suggesting genetic interactions likely exist between SID2 and NPR1 in the non-host resistance against Xcc in Arabidopsis. These results demonstrate that the SA signaling pathway plays a critical role in regulating non-host defense against Xcc in Arabidopsis and suggest that the SA signaling pathway genes may hold great potential for breeding citrus canker-resistant varieties through modern gene transfer technology.
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