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A Novel Pathway Linking Plasma Membrane And Chloroplasts Is Co-opted By Pathogens To Suppress Salicylic Acid-dependent Defences

Laura Medina-Puche, Huang Tan, Vivek Dogra, Mengshi Wu, Tabata Rosas-Diaz, Liping Wang, Xue Ding, Dan Zhang, Xing Fu, Chanhong Kim, Rosa Lozano-Duran

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SUMMARYChloroplasts are crucial players in the activation of defensive hormonal responses during plant-pathogen interactions. Here, we show that a plant virus-encoded protein re-localizes from the plasma membrane to chloroplasts upon triggering plant defence, interfering with the chloroplast-dependent activation of anti-viral salicylic acid (SA) biosynthesis. Strikingly, we have found that plant pathogens from different kingdoms seem to have convergently evolved to target chloroplasts and impair SA-dependent defences following an association with membranes, which is based on the co-existence of two subcellular targeting signals, an N-myristoylation site and a chloroplast transit peptide. This pattern is also present in plant proteins, at least one of which conversely activates SA defences from the chloroplast. Taken together, our results suggest that a pathway linking plasma membrane to chloroplasts and activating defence exists in plants, and that such pathway has been co-opted by plant pathogens during host-pathogen co-evolution to promote virulence through suppression of SA responses.