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The Arabidopsis thaliana Transcriptome in Response to Agrobacterium tumefaciens

June 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  6
Pages  665 - 681

Renata F. Ditt , 1 Kathleen F. Kerr , 2 Paul de Figueiredo , 3 Jeff Delrow , 4 Luca Comai , 1 and Eugene W. Nester 1 , 3

1Department of Biology, 2Department of Biostatistics, and 3Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, U.S.A.; 4Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, U.S.A.

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Accepted 19 January 2006.

The pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens infects a broad range of plants, introducing the T-DNA into their genome. Contrary to all known bacterial phytopathogens, A. tumefaciens lacks the hypersensitive response-inducing hrp genes, although it introduces numerous proteins into the plant cell through a type IV secretion system. To understand the timing and extent of the plant transcriptional response to this unusual pathogen, we used an Arabidopsis 26,000-gene oligonucleotide microarray. We inoculated Arabidopsis cell cultures with an oncogenic Agrobacterium strain and analyzed four biological replicates to identify two robust sets of regulated genes, one induced and the other suppressed. In both cases, the response was distinct at 48 h after infection, but not at 24 h or earlier. The induced set includes genes encoding known defense proteins, and the repressed set is enriched with genes characteristic of cell proliferation even though a growth arrest was not visible in the inoculated cultures. The analysis of the repressed genes revealed that the conserved upstream regulatory elements Frankiebox (also known as “site II” ) and Telobox are associated with the suppression of gene expression. The regulated gene sets should be useful in dissecting the signaling pathways in this plant-pathogen interaction.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society