Transgenic plants that express the phytoplasma effector SAP11 show altered phosphate starvation and defense responses.

Abstract

Phytoplasmas have the smallest genome among bacteria and lack many essential genes required for biosynthetic and metabolic functions, making them unculturable, phloem-limited plant pathogens. In this study, we observed that transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) expressing the secreted Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom protein11 shows an altered root architecture, similarly to the disease symptoms of phytoplasma-infected plants, by forming hairy roots. This morphological change is paralleled by an accumulation of cellular phosphate (Pi) and an increase in the expression levels of Pi starvation-induced genes and microRNAs. In addition to the Pi starvation responses, we found that secreted Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom protein11 suppresses salicylic acid-mediated defense responses and enhances the growth of a bacterial pathogen. These results contribute to an improved understanding of the role of phytoplasma effector SAP11 and provide new insights for understanding the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions.

DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.229740

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Cite this paper

@article{Lu2014TransgenicPT, title={Transgenic plants that express the phytoplasma effector SAP11 show altered phosphate starvation and defense responses.}, author={Yen-Ting Lu and Meng-Ying Li and Kai-Tan Cheng and Choon Meng Tan and Li-Wen Su and Wei-Yi Lin and Hsien-Tzung Shih and Tzyy-Jen Chiou and Jun-Yi Yang}, journal={Plant physiology}, year={2014}, volume={164 3}, pages={1456-69} }