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MAP Kinase Signalling Cascade In Arabidopsis Innate Immunity

T. Asai, G. Tena, J. Plotnikova, M. Willmann, W. Chiu, L. Gómez-Gómez, T. Boller, F. Ausubel, J. Sheen
Published 2002 · Biology, Medicine

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There is remarkable conservation in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by innate immune responses of plants, insects and mammals. We developed an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf cell system based on the induction of early-defence gene transcription by flagellin, a highly conserved component of bacterial flagella that functions as a PAMP in plants and mammals. Here we identify a complete plant MAP kinase cascade (MEKK1, MKK4/MKK5 and MPK3/MPK6) and WRKY22/WRKY29 transcription factors that function downstream of the flagellin receptor FLS2, a leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) receptor kinase. Activation of this MAPK cascade confers resistance to both bacterial and fungal pathogens, suggesting that signalling events initiated by diverse pathogens converge into a conserved MAPK cascade.
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A. was supported in part by fellowships from the Toyobo Biotechnology Foundation and the Uehara Memorial Foundation
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