Pseudomonas sax Genes Overcome Aliphatic Isothiocyanate–Mediated Non-Host Resistance in Arabidopsis

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Science  04 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6021, pp. 1185-1188
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199707

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Most plant-microbe interactions do not result in disease; natural products restrict non-host pathogens. We found that sulforaphane (4-methylsulfinylbutyl isothiocyanate), a natural product derived from aliphatic glucosinolates, inhibits growth in Arabidopsis of non-host Pseudomonas bacteria in planta. Multiple sax genes (saxCAB/F/D/G) were identified in Pseudomonas species virulent on Arabidopsis. These sax genes are required to overwhelm isothiocyanate-based defenses and facilitate a disease outcome, especially in the young leaves critical for plant survival. Introduction of saxCAB genes into non-host strains enabled them to overcome these Arabidopsis defenses. Our study shows that aliphatic isothiocyanates, previously shown to limit damage by herbivores, are also crucial, robust, and developmentally regulated defenses that underpin non-host resistance in the Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas pathosystem.

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