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The ERECTA Receptor-Like Kinase Regulates Cell Wall--Mediated Resistance to Pathogens in Arabidopsis thaliana

August 2009 , Volume 22 , Number  8
Pages  953 - 963

Clara Sánchez-Rodríguez,1 José Manuel Estévez,2 Francisco Llorente,1 Camilo Hernández-Blanco,1 Lucía Jordá,1 Israel Pagán,1 Marta Berrocal,1,2 Yves Marco,3 Shauna Somerville,2 and Antonio Molina1

1Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (UPM-INIA), Departamento Biotecnología, Campus Montegancedo Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E-28223-Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), Spain; 2Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford, CA, 94305, U.S.A.; 3Laboratoire de interactions Plantes-Microorganismes, CNRS-INRA, Chemin de Borde Rouge - BP 27, 31326 Castanet Tolosan Toulouse, France

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Accepted 24 March 2009.

Some receptor-like kinases (RLK) control plant development while others regulate immunity. The Arabidopsis ERECTA (ER) RLK regulates both biological processes. To discover specific components of ER-mediated immunity, a genetic screen was conducted to identify suppressors of erecta (ser) susceptibility to Plectosphaerella cucumerina fungus. The ser1 and ser2 mutations restored disease resistance to this pathogen to wild-type levels in the er-1 background but failed to suppress er-associated developmental phenotypes. The deposition of callose upon P. cucumerina inoculation, which was impaired in the er-1 plants, was also restored to near wild-type levels in the ser er-1 mutants. Analyses of er cell walls revealed that total neutral sugars were reduced and uronic acids increased relative to those of wild-type walls. Interestingly, in the ser er-1 walls, neutral sugars were elevated and uronic acids were reduced relative to both er-1 and wild-type plants. The cell-wall changes found in er-1 and the ser er-1 mutants are unlikely to contribute to their developmental alterations. However, they may influence disease resistance, as a positive correlation was found between uronic acids content and resistance to P. cucumerina. We propose a specific function for ER in regulating cell wall--mediated disease resistance that is distinct from its role in development.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society