Goff, Kerry .
Elucidating the functions of rre1 in the plant immune response in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Plants in the environment are constantly under siege by a host of disease-causing organisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and nematodes. Plants may resist pathogen attacks using both preformed defenses (antimicrobial compounds) and inducible or innate defense responses. Innate immunity is an ancient form of defense against pathogens that is shared by plants, insects and vertebrates. The oligosaccharide chitin is widely found in nature and is an important elicitor of the plant innate immune response. Upon exposure to chitin, Arabidopsis induces a novel signaling pathway leading to defense responses. Using Affymetrix ATH1 arrays we identified a gene, rre1 (rapid response to elicitor), that is strongly induced upon exposure to chitin. RRE1 is a RING zinc-finger protein belonging to the ATL gene family. Insertional mutations in rre1 resulted in increased susceptibility to the powdery mildew pathogen Erysiphe cichoracearum as compared to wild type plants. In order to further characterize the role of rre1 in plant defense, over-expression lines of rre1 will be created and tested for their disease resistance phenotypes. In addition, reporter gene constructs of rre1 with GUS and GFP will be tested to determine where rre1 is localized during infection. These studies will provide important information on the signaling mechanisms behind chitin-induced innate immunity leading to a more thorough understanding of plant defense mechanisms.
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1 - The University of Alabama, Biological Sciences, 607 Main Ave #302, Northport, AL, 35476, USA
Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM