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Free Content The BOS loci of Arabidopsis are required for resistance to Botrytis cinerea infection

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Three Botrytis-susceptible mutants bos2, bos3, and bos4 which define independent and novel genetic loci required for Arabidopsis resistance to Botrytis cinerea were isolated. The bos2 mutant is susceptible to B. cinerea but retains wild-type levels of resistance to other pathogens tested, indicative of a defect in a response pathway more specific to B. cinerea. The bos3 and bos4 mutants also show increased susceptibility to Alternaria brassicicola, another necrotrophic pathogen, suggesting a broader role for these loci in resistance. bos4 shows the broadest range of effects on resistance, being more susceptible to avirulent strain of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Interestingly, bos3 is more resistant than wild-type plants to virulent strains of the biotrophic pathogen Peronospora parasitica and the bacterial pathogen P. syringae pv. tomato. The Pathogenesis Related gene 1 (PR-1), a molecular marker of the salicylic acid (SA)-dependent resistance pathway, shows a wild-type pattern of expression in bos2, while in bos3 this gene was expressed at elevated levels, both constitutively and in response to pathogen challenge. In bos4 plants, PR-1 expression was reduced compared with wild type in response to B. cinerea and SA. In bos3, the mutant most susceptible to B. cinerea and with the highest expression of PR-1, removal of SA resulted in reduced PR-1 expression but no change to the B. cinerea response. Expression of the plant defensin gene PDF1-2 was generally lower in bos mutants compared with wild-type plants, with a particularly strong reduction in bos3. Production of the phytoalexin camalexin is another well-characterized plant defense response. The bos2 and bos4 mutants accumulate reduced levels of camalexin whereas bos3 accumulates significantly higher levels of camalexin than wild-type plants in response to B. cinerea. The BOS2, BOS3, and BOS4 loci may affect camalexin levels and responsiveness to ethylene and jasmonate. The three new mutants appear to mediate disease responses through mechanisms independent of the previously described BOS1 gene. Based on the differences in the phenotypes of the bos mutants, it appears that they affect different points in defense response pathways.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Botrytis cinerea; camalexin; defense responses; necrotrophic pathogens; salicylic acid

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054, USA, and 2: Syngenta Biotechnology Inc., 3054 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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