Complex signal transduction pathways underlie the myriad plant responses to attack by pathogens. Ca2+ is a universal second messenger in eukaryotes that modulates various signal transduction pathways through stimulus-specific changes in its intracellular concentration. Ca2+-binding proteins such as calmodulin (CaM) detect Ca2+ signals and regulate downstream targets as part of a coordinated cellular response to a given stimulus. Here we report the characterization of a tomato gene (APR134) encoding a CaM-related protein that is induced in disease-resistant leaves in response to attack by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. We show that suppression of APR134 gene expression in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), compromises the plant’s immune response. We isolated APR134-like genes from Arabidopsis, termed CML42 and CML43, to investigate whether they serve a functionally similar role. Gene expression analysis revealed that CML43 is rapidly induced in disease-resistant Arabidopsis leaves following inoculation with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Overexpression of CML43 in Arabidopsis accelerated the hypersensitive response. Recombinant APR134, CML42, and CML43 proteins all bind Ca2+ in vitro. Collectively, our data support a role for CML43, and APR134 as important mediators of Ca2+-dependent signals during the plant immune response to bacterial pathogens.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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