Loss of a Callose Synthase Results in Salicylic Acid-Dependent Disease Resistance

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Science  15 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5635, pp. 969-972
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086716

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Plants attacked by pathogens rapidly deposit callose, a β-1,3-glucan, at wound sites. Traditionally, this deposition is thought to reinforce the cell wall and is regarded as a defense response. Surprisingly, here we found that powdery mildew resistant 4 (pmr4), a mutant lacking pathogen-induced callose, became resistant to pathogens, rather than more susceptible. This resistance was due to mutation of a callose synthase, resulting in a loss of the induced callose response. Double-mutant analysis indicated that blocking the salicylic acid (SA) defense signaling pathway was sufficient to restore susceptibility to pmr4 mutants. Thus, callose or callose synthase negatively regulates the SA pathway.

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