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Regions of the Cf-9B Disease Resistance Protein Able to Cause Spontaneous Necrosis in Nicotiana benthamiana Lie Within the Region Controlling Pathogen Recognition in Tomato

October 2009 , Volume 22 , Number  10
Pages  1,214 - 1,226

Apratim Chakrabarti,1 Stephen N. Panter,1 Kate Harrison,2 Jonathan D. G. Jones,2 and David A. Jones1

1Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia; 2Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, Norfolk, U.K.

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Accepted 29 April 2009.

The tomato Cf-9 and Cf-9B genes both confer resistance to the leaf mold fungus Cladosporium fulvum but only Cf-9 confers seedling resistance and recognizes the avirulence (Avr) protein Avr9 produced by C. fulvum. Using domain swaps, leucine-rich repeats (LRR) 5 to 15 of Cf-9 were shown to be required for Cf-9-specific resistance to C. fulvum in tomato, and the entire N-terminus up to LRR15 of Cf-9B was shown to be required for Cf-9B-specific resistance. Finer domain swaps showed that nine amino-acid differences in LRR 13 to 15 provided sufficient Cf-9-specific residues in a Cf-9B context for recognition of Avr9 in Nicotiana tabacum or sufficient Cf-9B residues in a Cf-9 context for a novel necrotic response caused by the expression of Cf-9B in N. benthamiana. The responses conferred by LRR 13 to 15 were enhanced by addition of LRR 10 to 12, and either region of Cf-9B was found to cause necrosis in N. benthamiana when the other was replaced by Cf-9 sequence in a Cf-9B context. As a consequence, the domain swap with LRR 13 to 15 of Cf-9 in a Cf-9B context gained the dual ability to recognize Avr9 and cause necrosis in N. benthamiana. Intriguingly, two Cf-9B-specific domain swaps gave differing results for necrosis assays in N. benthamiana compared with disease resistance assays in transgenic tomato. The different domain requirements in these two cases suggest that the two assays detect unrelated ligands or detect related ligands in slightly different ways. A heat-sensitive necrosis-inducing factor present in N. benthamiana intercellular washing fluids was found to cause a necrotic response in N. tabacum plants carrying Hcr9-9A, Cf-9B, and Cf-9 but not in plants carrying only Cf-9. We postulate that this necrosis-inducing factor is recognized by Cf-9B either directly as a ligand or indirectly as a regulator of Cf-9B autoactivity.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society