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NtLRP1, a Tobacco Leucine-Rich Repeat Gene with a Possible Role as a Modulator of the Hypersensitive Response

July 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  7
Pages  747 - 757

Alban Jacques , 1 Ahmed Ghannam , 1 Mathieu Erhardt , 1 Patrice de Ruffray , 1 Fabienne Baillieul , 2 and Serge Kauffmann 1

1Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du C.N.R.S., Université Louis Pasteur, 12 rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg, France; 2Laboratoire de Stress, Défenses et Reproduction des Plantes, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Reims, BP 1039, 51687 Reims, France

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Accepted 24 February 2006.

Plant defense responses against pathogens often involve the restriction of the pathogen to its site of penetration achieved through the combined effects of the hypersensitive response (HR) and its tightly connected localized acquired resistance (LAR). The tobacco DD9-3 expressed sequence tag was previously isolated from a screen designed to isolate genes induced early during the HR, thus potentially involved in the induction/regulation of the HR or LAR. Translation of the open reading frame of DD9-3 revealed a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain highly homologous with the receptor domain of a receptor kinase, suggesting a potential function in signaling pathways. The full-length cDNA was cloned. It encodes a small (232 amino acids) LRR protein, designated Nicotiana tabacum leucine-rich protein 1 (NtLRP1), containing a signal peptide, four leucine zipper repeats, five LRR repeats, and a C-terminal domain rich in proline. NtLRP1 expression is induced early during the HR initiated by elicitins, Ralstonia solanacearum, or Tobacco mosaic virus. NtLRP1 coupled with the green fluorescent protein localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Loss-of-function through virus-induced gene silencing or through RNA interference did not modify the elicitin-induced HR or LAR. Gain-of-function experiments through transient Agrobacterium tu-mefaciens-mediated NtLRP1 expression in tobacco leaves caused the suppression of the HR induced by 2 nM elicitin and delayed the HR when the elicitin was applied at higher concentrations. The results suggest that NtLRP1 acts as a modulator of the HR and that retention in the ER is essential for its function.

Additional keyword: cell death .

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society