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ABA Is Required for Leptosphaeria maculans Resistance via ABI1- and ABI4-Dependent Signaling

April 2007 , Volume 20 , Number  4
Pages  335 - 345

Maria Kaliff , Jens Staal , Mattias Myrenås , and Christina Dixelius

Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7080, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

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Accepted 19 October 2006.

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a defense hormone with influence on callose-dependent and -independent resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans acting in the RLM1Col pathway. ABA-deficient and -insensitive mutants in Ler-0 background (aba1-3 and abi1-1) displayed susceptibility to L. maculans, along with a significantly decreased level of callose depositions, whereas abi2-1 and abi3-1 remained resistant, together with the abi5-1 mutant of Ws-0 background. Suppressor mutants of abi1-1 confirmed that the L. maculans-susceptible response was due to the dominant negative nature of the abi1-1 mutant. Highly induced camalexin levels made ABA mutants in Col-0 background (aba2-1, aba3-1, and abi4-1) appear resistant, but displayed enhanced susceptibility as double mutants with pad3-1, impaired in camalexin biosynthesis. β-Aminobutyric acid (BABA) pretreatment of Ler-0 contributed to an elevated level of endogenous ABA after L. maculans inoculation. Comparisons between (RLM1Col)pad3 and rlm1Lerpad3 showed that ABA and BABA enhancement of callose deposition requires induction from RLM1Col·ABI1, but not ABI2, was found to be involved in a feedback mechanism that modulates RLM1Col expression. Genetic analysis showed further that this feedback occurs upstream of ABI4 and that components downstream of ABI4 modulate ABI1 activity. ABA and BABA treatments of the L. maculans-susceptible callose synthase mutant pmr4 showed that ABA also induces a callose-independent resistance. Similar treatments enhanced callose depositions and induced resistance to L. maculans in oilseed rape, and BABA-induced resistance was found to be independent of salicylic acid.

Additional keywords: Arabidopsis, defense, resistance gene.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society