Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana 61801, U.S.A.
A mutational study was carried out to isolate Arabidopsis thaliana plants that exhibit full or partial disruption of the RPS2-mediated hypersensitive response (HR) to Pseudomonas syringae that express avrRpt2. Five classes of mutants were identified including mutations at RPS2, dnd mutations causing a “defense, no death” loss-of-HR phenotype, a lesion-mimic mutant that also exhibited an HR¯phenotype, and a number of intermediate or partial-loss-of-HR mutants. Surprisingly, many of these mutants displayed elevated resistance to virulent P. syringae and, in some cases, to Peronospora parasitica. Constitutively elevated levels of pathogenesis-related (PR) gene expression and salicylic acid were also observed. In the lesion-mimic mutant, appearance of elevated resistance was temporally correlated with appearance of lesions. For one of the intermediate lines, resistance was shown to be dependent on elevated levels of salicylic acid. A new locus was identified and named IHR1, after the mutant phenotype of “intermediate HR.” Genetic analysis of the intermediate-HR plant lines was difficult due to uncertainties in distinguishing the partial/intermediate mutant phenotypes from wild type. Despite this difficulty, the intermediate-HR mutants remain of interest because they reveal potential new defense-related loci and because many of these lines exhibit partially elevated disease resistance without dwarfing or other apparent growth defects.