Graduate School of Experimental Plant Sciences, Section of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 800.84, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Selected nonpathogenic rhizobacteria with biological disease control activity are able to elicit an induced systemic resistance (ISR) response that is phenotypically similar to pathogen-induced systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Ten ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana were screened for their potential to express rhizobacteria-mediated ISR and pathogen-induced SAR against the leaf pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst). All ecotypes expressed SAR. However, of the 10 ecotypes tested, ecotypes RLD and Wassilewskija (Ws) did not develop ISR after treatment of the roots with nonpathogenic Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r bacteria. This nonresponsive phenotype was associated with relatively high susceptibility to Pst infection. The F1 progeny of crosses between the non-responsive ecotypes RLD and Ws on the one hand, and the responsive ecotypes Columbia (Col) and Landsberg erecta (Ler) on the other hand, were fully capable of expressing ISR and exhibited a relatively high level of basal resistance, similar to that of their WCS417r-responsive parent. This indicates that the potential to express ISR and the relatively high level of basal resistance against Pst are both inherited as dominant traits. Analysis of the F2 and F3 progeny of a Col × RLD cross revealed that inducibility of ISR and relatively high basal resistance against Pst cosegregate in a 3 : 1 fashion, suggesting that both resistance mechanisms are monogenically determined and genetically linked. Neither the responsiveness to WCS417r nor the relatively high level of basal resistance against Pst were complemented in the F1 progeny of crosses between RLD and Ws, indicating that RLD and Ws are both affected in the same locus, necessary for the expression of ISR and basal resistance against Pst. The corresponding locus, designated ISR1, was mapped between markers B4 and GL1 on chromosome 3. The observed association between ISR and basal resistance against Pst suggests that rhizo-bacteria-mediated ISR against Pst in Arabidopsis requires the presence of a single dominant gene that functions in the basal resistance response against Pst infection.