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Science 315 (5815): 1098-1103

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Nuclear Activity of MLA Immune Receptors Links Isolate-Specific and Basal Disease-Resistance Responses

Qian-Hua Shen,1 Yusuke Saijo,1 Stefan Mauch,1 Christoph Biskup,2 Stéphane Bieri,3 Beat Keller,3 Hikaru Seki,1* Bekir Ülker,1{dagger} Imre E. Somssich,1 Paul Schulze-Lefert1{ddagger}

Abstract: Plant immune responses are triggered by pattern recognition receptors that detect conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or by resistance (R) proteins recognizing isolate-specific pathogen effectors. We show that in barley, intracellular mildew A (MLA) R proteins function in the nucleus to confer resistance against the powdery mildew fungus. Recognition of the fungal avirulence A10 effector by MLA10 induces nuclear associations between receptor and WRKY transcription factors. The identified WRKY proteins act as repressors of PAMP-triggered basal defense. MLA appears to interfere with the WRKY repressor function, thereby de-repressing PAMP-triggered basal defense. Our findings reveal a mechanism by which these polymorphic immune receptors integrate distinct pathogen signals.

1 Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany.
2 Institute of Physiology II, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Teichgraben 8, D-07740 Jena, Germany.
3 Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

* Present address: RIKEN Plant Science Center, 1-7-22 Suehirocho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan.

{dagger} Present address: School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, Science Site, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: schlef{at}mpiz-koeln.mpg.de


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