AtMCP1b, A Chloroplast-localised Metacaspase, Is Induced In Vascular Tissue After Wounding Or Pathogen Infection
cDNA corresponding to the Arabidopsis type I metacaspase AtMCP1b was isolated from plants infected with Pseudomonas syringae. A positive correlation between AtMCP1b expression and cell death was observed in the presence of staurosporine, a protein kinase inhibitor that induces programmed cell death. The tissue localisation of an AtMCP1b promoter-GUS fusion was observed in the vascular tissue of transgenic plants. GUS activity increased in response to an incompatible DC3000 (avrRpm1) or a compatible DC3000 P. syringae infection, or to wounding. Confocal and immunohistochemical analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) leaves showed that an AtMCP1b-GFP fusion protein was localised in the chloroplasts. Our data support a positive correlation between AtMCP1b gene expression and cell death in response to wounding or pathogenic interactions. Moreover, the localisation of AtMCP1b gene expression within vascular tissue and cells of abscission regions strongly supports a role for AtMCP1b in programmed cell dismantling events in response to environmental and developmental triggers. The AtMCP1b-GFP subcellular localisation infers a role for the plastid organelles in PCD and, thus, in responses to pathogen attack and development.