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The Fungal Gene Avr9 and the Oomycete Gene inf1 Confer Avirulence to Potato Virus X on Tobacco

May 1999 , Volume 12 , Number  5
Pages  459 - 462

Sophien Kamoun , Guy Honée , Rob Weide , Richard Laugé , Miriam Kooman-Gersmann , Koen de Groot , Francine Govers , and Pierre J. G. M. de Wit

Laboratory of Phytopathology and Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences, Wageningen Agricultural University, P.O. Box 8025, 6700 EE Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Accepted 22 January 1999.

The AVR9 peptide of the fungal pathogen Cladosporium fulvum and the INF1 protein of the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans elicit the hypersensitive response (HR) on Cf9 tomato or Cf-9 transgenic tobacco and on all cultivars of tobacco, respectively. Expression of either the functional Avr9 or inf1 genes from engineered potato virus X (PVX) genomes resulted in localized HR lesions on tobacco plants responsive to the elicitors and inhibited spread of the recombinant virus. In contrast, PVX derivatives producing mutant forms of AVR9 and INF1 with reduced elicitor activity caused systemic necrotic and/or mosaic symptoms, and were unable to inhibit PVX spread. These results demonstrate that HR is a highly versatile defense mechanism active against unrelated pathogens irrespective of the HR-inducing agent, and that resistance to recombinant PVX in tobacco is correlated with the strength of the transgene-encoded elicitor.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society