Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK 73401, U.S.A.
Coronatine (COR)-producing pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae, including pvs. tomato, maculicola, and glycinea, cause important diseases on tomato, crucifers, and soybean, respectively, and produce symptoms with necrotic lesions surrounded by chlorosis. The chlorosis is mainly attributed to COR. However, the significance of COR-induced chlorosis in localized lesion development and the molecular basis of disease-associated cell death is largely unknown. To identify host (chloroplast) genes that play a role in COR-mediated chlorosis, we used a forward genetics approach using Nicotiana benthamiana and virus-induced gene silencing and identified a gene which encodes 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (Prxs) that, when silenced, produced a spreading hypersensitive or necrosis-like phenotype instead of chlorosis after COR application in a COI1-dependent manner. Loss-of-function analysis of Prx and NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase C (NTRC), the central players of a chloroplast redox detoxification system, resulted in spreading accelerated P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 disease-associated cell death with enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in a COR-dependent manner in tomato and Arabidopsis. Consistent with these results, virulent strain DC3000 suppressed the expression of Prx and NTRC in Arabidopsis and tomato during pathogenesis. However, interestingly, authentic COR suppressed the expression of Prx and NTRC in tomato but not in Arabidopsis, suggesting that COR in conjunction with other effectors may modulate ROS and cell death in different host species. Taken together, these results indicated that NTRC or Prx function as a negative regulator of pathogen-induced cell death in the healthy tissues that surround the lesions, and COR-induced chloroplast-localized ROS play a role in enhancing the disease-associated cell death.