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Identification of Arabidopsis Loci Required for Susceptibility to the Downy Mildew Pathogen Hyaloperonospora parasitica

June 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  6
Pages  583 - 592

Mireille Van Damme , 1 Annemiek Andel , 1 Robin P. Huibers , 1 Ralph Panstruga , 2 Peter J. Weisbeek , 1 and Guido Van den Ackerveken 1

1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant-Microbe Interactions, 50829 Köln, Germany

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Accepted 28 January 2005.

Plants are susceptible to a limited number of pathogens. Most infections fail due to active defense or absence of compatibility. Many components of the plant's surveillance system and defense arsenal have been identified in the last decades. However, knowledge is limited on compatibility; in particular, the role of plant factors in the infection process. To gain insight into these processes, we have initiated an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant screen for reduced susceptibility to the downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora parasitica. Ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) mutants were generated in the highly susceptible Arabidopsis line L er eds1-2. Eight downy mildew-resistant (dmr) mutants were analyzed in detail, corresponding to six different loci. Microscopic analysis showed that, in all mutants, H. parasitica growth was severely reduced. Resistance of dmr3, dmr4, and dmr5 was associated with constitutive expression of PR-1. Furthermore, dmr3 and dmr4, but not dmr5, also were resistant to Pseudomonas syringae and Golovinomyces orontii, respectively. However, enhanced activation of plant defense was not observed in dmr1, dmr2, and dmr6. We postulate that, in these susceptibility mutants, cellular processes are disrupted which are required for H. parasitica infection. This interesting new set of mutants provides a basis to elucidate the molecular processes underlying susceptibility to downy mildew in Arabidopsis.

Additional keywords: disease resistance , disease susceptibility , downy mildew resistance , obligate biotroph , oomycete .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society