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Mutational Analysis of the Arabidopsis RPS2 Disease Resistance Gene and the Corresponding Pseudomonas syringae avrRpt2 Avirulence Gene

February 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  2
Pages  181 - 188

Michael J. Axtell , Timothy W. McNellis , Mary Beth Mudgett , Caroline S. Hsu , and Brian J. Staskawicz

University of California, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley 94720, U.S.A.

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Accepted 26 October 2000.

Plants have evolved a large number of disease resistance genes that encode proteins containing conserved structural motifs that function to recognize pathogen signals and to initiate defense responses. The Arabidopsis RPS2 gene encodes a protein representative of the nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) class of plant resistance proteins. RPS2 specifically recognizes Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strains expressing the avrRpt2 gene and initiates defense responses to bacteria carrying avrRpt2, including a hypersensitive cell death response (HR). We present an in planta mutagenesis experiment that resulted in the isolation of a series of rps2 and avrRpt2 alleles that disrupt the RPS2-avrRpt2 gene-for-gene interaction. Seven novel avrRpt2 alleles incapable of eliciting an RPS2-dependent HR all encode proteins with lesions in the C-terminal portion of AvrRpt2 previously shown to be sufficient for RPS2 recognition. Ten novel rps2 alleles were characterized with mutations in the NBS and the LRR. Several of these alleles code for point mutations in motifs that are conserved among NBS-LRR resistance genes, including the third LRR, which suggests the importance of these motifs for resistance gene function.

Additional keywords: dexamethasone, genetic screen, hypersensitive response, inducible promoter, nucleotide sequence.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society