The tomato Cf-9 gene confers resistance to races of the fungal pathogen Cladosporium fulvum expressing the Avr9 gene. cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis was used to display transcripts whose expression is rapidly altered during the Avr9- and Cf-9 – mediated defense response in tobacco cell cultures. Diphenyleneiodonium was used to abolish the production of active oxygen species during gene induction. Of 30,000 fragments inspected, 290 showed altered abundance, of which 263 were induced independently of active oxygen species. cDNA clones were obtained for 13 ACRE (for Avr9/Cf-9 rapidly elicited) genes. ACRE gene induction occurred in the presence of cycloheximide. Avr9 induced ACRE gene expression in leaves. Surprisingly, ACRE genes were also rapidly but transiently induced in leaves in response to other stresses. The amino acid sequences of some ACRE proteins are homologous to sequences of known proteins such as ethylene response element binding protein transcription factors, the N resistance protein, a calcium binding protein, 13-lipoxygenase, and a RING-H2 zinc finger protein. Rapid induction of ACRE genes suggests that they play a pivotal role during plant defense responses.
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