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NHL25 and NHL3, Two NDR1/HIN1-Like Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana with Potential Role(s) in Plant Defense

June 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  6
Pages  608 - 616

Anne Varet , 1 Jane Parker , 2 Pablo Tornero , 3 Norbert Nass , 1 Thorsten Nürnberger , 1 Jeffery L. Dangl , 3 , 4 Dierk Scheel , 1 and Justin Lee 1

1Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Department of Stress- and Developmental Biology, Weinberg 3, D-06120, Halle/Saale, Germany; 2Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Molecular Phytopathology, D-50829, Cologne, Germany; 3Department of Biology and 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Curriculum in Genetics, Coker Hall CB#3280, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27599-3280 U.S.A.

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Accepted 5 March 2002.

The Arabidopsis genome contains 28 genes with sequence homology to the Arabidopsis NDR1 gene and the tobacco HIN1 gene. Expression analysis of eight of these genes identified two (NHL25 and NHL3 for NDR1/HIN1-like) that show pathogen-dependent mRNA accumulation. Transcripts did not accumulate during infection with virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 but did accumulate specifically when the bacteria carried any of the four avirulence genes avrRpm1, avrRpt2, avrB, or avrRps4. Furthermore, expression of avrRpt2 in plants containing the corresponding resistance gene, RPS2, was sufficient to induce transcript accumulation. However, during infection with an avirulent oomycete, Peronospora parasitica isolate Cala-2, only NHL25 expression was reproducibly induced. Salicylic acid (SA) treatment can induce expression of NHL25 and NHL3. Studies performed on nahG plants showed that, during interaction with avirulent bacteria, only the expression of NHL25 but not that of NHL3 was affected. This suggests involvement of separate SA-dependent and SA-independent pathways, respectively, in the transcriptional activation of these genes. Bacteria-induced gene expression was not abolished in ethylene- (etr1-3 and ein2-1) and jasmonate- (coi1-1) insensitive mutants or in mutants impaired in disease resistance (ndr1-1 and pad4-1). Interestingly, NHL3 transcripts accumulated after infiltration with the avirulent hrcC mutant of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 and nonhost bacteria but not with the virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, suggesting that virulent bacteria may suppress NHL3 expression during pathogenesis. Hence, the expression patterns and sequence homology to NDR1 and HIN1 suggest one or more potential roles for these genes in plant resistance.

Keywords: gene-for-gene , wounding .

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society