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Science 301 (5635): 969-972

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Loss of a Callose Synthase Results in Salicylic Acid-Dependent Disease Resistance

Marc T. Nishimura,1* Mónica Stein,1* Bi-Huei Hou,1 John P. Vogel,1{dagger} Herb Edwards,2 Shauna C. Somerville1{ddagger}

Abstract: Plants attacked by pathogens rapidly deposit callose, a ß-1,3-glucan, at wound sites. Traditionally, this deposition is thought to reinforce the cell wall and is regarded as a defense response. Surprisingly, here we found that powdery mildew resistant 4 (pmr4), a mutant lacking pathogen-induced callose, became resistant to pathogens, rather than more susceptible. This resistance was due to mutation of a callose synthase, resulting in a loss of the induced callose response. Double-mutant analysis indicated that blocking the salicylic acid (SA) defense signaling pathway was sufficient to restore susceptibility to pmr4 mutants. Thus, callose or callose synthase negatively regulates the SA pathway.

1 Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455, USA.

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* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} Present address: Western Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Albany, CA 94710, USA.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail shauna{at}

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