Journal article

The chloroplast protein RPH1 plays a role in the immune response of Arabidopsis to Phytophthora brassicae

  • Belhaj, Khaoula Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Lin, Baiqing Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Mauch, Felix Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
Published in:
  • The Plant Journal. - 2009, vol. 58, no. 2, p. 287 - 298
English Plant immune responses to pathogens are often associated with enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), known as the oxidative burst, and with rapid hypersensitive host cell death (the hypersensitive response, HR) at sites of attempted infection. It is generally accepted that the oxidative burst acts as a promotive signal for HR, and that HR is highly correlated with efficient disease resistance. We have identified the Arabidopsis mutant rph1 (resistance to Phytophthora 1), which is susceptible to the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora brassicae despite rapid induction of HR. The susceptibility of rph1 was specific for P. brassicae and coincided with a reduced oxidative burst, a runaway cell-death response, and failure to properly activate the expression of defence-related genes. From these results, we conclude that, in the immune response to P. brassicae, (i) HR is not sufficient to stop the pathogen, (ii) HR initiation can occur in the absence of a major oxidative burst, (iii) the oxidative burst plays a role in limiting the spread of cell death, and (iv) RPH1 is a positive regulator of the P. brassicae-induced oxidative burst and enhanced expression of defence-related genes. Surprisingly, RPH1 encodes an evolutionary highly conserved chloroplast protein, indicating a function of this organelle in activation of a subset of immune reactions in response to P. brassicae. The disease resistance-related role of RPH1 was not limited to the Arabidopsis model system. Silencing of the potato homolog StRPH1 in a resistant potato cultivar caused susceptibility to the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Biologie
  • English
Biological sciences
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