A putative lipid transfer protein involved in systemic resistance signalling in Arabidopsis

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Localized attack by a necrotizing pathogen induces systemic acquired resistance (SAR) to subsequent attack by a broad range of normally virulent pathogens. Salicylic acid accumulation is required for activation of local defenses, such as pathogenesis-related protein accumulation, at the initial site of attack, and for subsequent expression of SAR upon secondary, distant challenge1,2. Although salicylic acid moves through the plant, it is apparently not an essential mobile signal2. We screened Agrobacterium tumefaciens transfer DNA (tDNA) tagged lines of Arabidopsis thaliana for mutants specifically compromized in SAR. Here we show that Defective in induced resistance 1-1 (dir1-1) exhibits wild-type local resistance to avirulent and virulent Pseudomonas syringae, but that pathogenesis-related gene expression is abolished in uninoculated distant leaves and dir1-1 fails to develop SAR to virulent Pseudomonas or Peronospora parasitica. Petiole exudate experiments indicate that dir1-1 is defective in the production or transmission from the inoculated leaf of an essential mobile signal. DIR1 encodes a putative apoplastic lipid transfer protein and we propose that DIR1 interacts with a lipid-derived molecule to promote long distance signalling.

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Figure 1: Characterization of dir1-1.
Figure 2: Defence gene expression in Ws and dir1-1.
Figure 3: Structure of the tDNA insertion in the dir1-1 allele.
Figure 4: Complementation of dir1-1.


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We thank colleagues for plasmids and bacterial strains (see Methods), J. McDowell for providing Arabidopsis/P. parasitica-infected leaves, C. Hutcheon for analysing the oxidative burst, and N. Paiva and J. Blount for help with salicylic acid determinations. This work was supported by grants from the Noble Foundation (R.A.D. and C.J.L.), Agritope (C.J.L.), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (R.K.C.) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (R.K.C.) and by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (C.J.L.). A.M.M. was supported by post-doctoral fellowships from the Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura de Espana and Gobierno Vasco.

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Correspondence to Robin K. Cameron.

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C.J.L. was on the Scientific Advisory Board of Agritope from 1997–99.

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Maldonado, A., Doerner, P., Dixon, R. et al. A putative lipid transfer protein involved in systemic resistance signalling in Arabidopsis. Nature 419, 399–403 (2002) doi:10.1038/nature00962

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