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Ethylene Response Factor 1 Mediates Arabidopsis Resistance to the Soilborne Fungus Fusarium oxysporum

July 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  7
Pages  763 - 770

Marta Berrocal-Lobo and Antonio Molina

Laboratorio de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Departamento de Biotecnología-UPM, ETS Ingenieros Agrónomos, Avda. Complutense, E-28040 Madrid, Spain

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Accepted 4 February 2004.

Ethylene response factor 1 (ERF1) is a transcriptional factor from Arabidopsis thaliana that regulates plant resistance to the necrotrophic fungi Botrytis cinerea and Plectosphaerella cucumerina and whose overexpression enhances resistance to these fungi. Here, we show that ERF1 also mediates Arabidopsis resistance to the soilborne fungi Fusarium oxysporum sp. conglutinans and F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, because its constitutive expression in Arabidopsis confers enhanced resistance to these pathogens. Expression of ERF1 was upregulated after inoculation with F. oxysporum f. sp. conglutinans, and this response was blocked in ein2-5 and coi1-1 mutants, impaired in the ethylene (ET) and jasmonic acid (JA) signal pathways, respectively, which further indicates that ERF1 is a downstream component of ET and JA defense responses. The signal transduction network controlling resistance to F. oxysporum fungi was explored using signaling-defective mutants in ET (ein2-5), JA (jar1-1), and salicylic acid (SA) (NahG, sid2-1, eds5-1, npr1-1, pad4-1, eds1-1, and pad2-1) transduction pathways. This analysis revealed that Arabidopsis resistance to F. oxysporum requires the ET, JA, and SA signaling pathways and the NPR1 gene, although it is independent of the PAD4 and EDS1 functions.

Additional keywords: EREBP, plant defense, signal transduction pathways.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society