Identification of genes required for Cf-dependent hypersensitive cell death by combined proteomic and RNA interfering analyses.
ABSTRACT: Identification of hypersensitive cell death (HCD) regulators is essential to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying plant disease resistance. In this study, combined proteomic and RNA interfering (RNAi) analyses were employed to identify genes required for the HCD conferred by the tomato resistance gene Cf-4 and the Cladosporium fulvum avirulence gene Avr4. Forty-nine proteins differentially expressed in the tomato seedlings mounting and those not mounting Cf-4/Avr4-dependent HCD were identified through proteomic analysis. Among them were a variety of defence-related proteins including a cysteine protease, Pip1, an operative target of another C. fulvum effector, Avr2. Additionally, glutathione-mediated antioxidation is a major response to Cf-4/Avr4-dependent HCD. Functional analysis through tobacco rattle virus-induced gene silencing and transient RNAi assays of the chosen 16 differentially expressed proteins revealed that seven genes, which encode Pip1 homologue NbPip1, a SIPK type MAP kinase Nbf4, an asparagine synthetase NbAsn, a trypsin inhibitor LeMir-like protein NbMir, a small GTP-binding protein, a late embryogenesis-like protein, and an ASR4-like protein, were required for Cf-4/Avr4-dependent HCD. Furthermore, the former four genes were essential for Cf-9/Avr9-dependent HCD; NbPip1, NbAsn, and NbMir, but not Nbf4, affected a nonadaptive bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae-induced HCD in Nicotiana benthamiana. These data demonstrate that Pip1 and LeMir may play a general role in HCD and plant immunity and that the application of combined proteomic and RNA interfering analyses is an efficient strategy to identify genes required for HCD, disease resistance, and probably other biological processes in plants.
Project description:Most fungal effectors characterized so far are species-specific and facilitate virulence on a particular host plant. During infection of its host tomato, Cladosporium fulvum secretes effectors that function as virulence factors in the absence of cognate Cf resistance proteins and induce effector-triggered immunity in their presence. Here we show that homologs of the C. fulvum Avr4 and Ecp2 effectors are present in other pathogenic fungi of the Dothideomycete class, including Mycosphaerella fijiensis, the causal agent of black Sigatoka disease of banana. We demonstrate that the Avr4 homolog of M. fijiensis is a functional ortholog of C. fulvum Avr4 that protects fungal cell walls against hydrolysis by plant chitinases through binding to chitin and, despite the low overall sequence homology, triggers a Cf-4-mediated hypersensitive response (HR) in tomato. Furthermore, three homologs of C. fulvum Ecp2 are found in M. fijiensis, one of which induces different levels of necrosis or HR in tomato lines that lack or contain a putative cognate Cf-Ecp2 protein, respectively. In contrast to Avr4, which acts as a defensive virulence factor, M. fijiensis Ecp2 likely promotes virulence by interacting with a putative host target causing host cell necrosis, whereas Cf-Ecp2 could possibly guard the virulence target of Ecp2 and trigger a Cf-Ecp2-mediated HR. Overall our data suggest that Avr4 and Ecp2 represent core effectors that are collectively recognized by single cognate Cf-proteins. Transfer of these Cf genes to plant species that are attacked by fungi containing these cognate core effectors provides unique ways for breeding disease-resistant crops.
Project description:Leaf mold of tomato is caused by the biotrophic fungus Cladosporium fulvum which complies with the gene-for-gene system. The disease was first reported in Japan in the 1920s and has since been frequently observed. Initially only race 0 isolates were reported, but since the consecutive introduction of resistance genes Cf-2, Cf-4, Cf-5 and Cf-9 new races have evolved. Here we first determined the virulence spectrum of 133 C. fulvum isolates collected from 22 prefectures in Japan, and subsequently sequenced the avirulence (Avr) genes Avr2, Avr4, Avr4E, Avr5 and Avr9 to determine the molecular basis of overcoming Cf genes. Twelve races of C. fulvum with a different virulence spectrum were identified, of which races 9, 2.9, 4.9, 4.5.9 and 4.9.11 occur only in Japan. The Avr genes in many of these races contain unique mutations not observed in races identified elsewhere in the world including (i) frameshift mutations and (ii) transposon insertions in Avr2, (iii) point mutations in Avr4 and Avr4E, and (iv) deletions of Avr4E, Avr5 and Avr9. New races have developed by selection pressure imposed by consecutive introductions of Cf-2, Cf-4, Cf-5 and Cf-9 genes in commercially grown tomato cultivars. Our study shows that molecular variations to adapt to different Cf genes in an isolated C. fulvum population in Japan are novel but overall follow similar patterns as those observed in populations from other parts of the world. Implications for breeding of more durable C. fulvum resistant varieties are discussed.
Project description:CfAvr4, a chitin-binding effector protein produced by the Dothideomycete tomato pathogen Cladosporium fulvum, protects the cell wall of this fungus against hydrolysis by secreted host chitinases during infection. However, in the presence of the Cf-4 immune receptor of tomato, CfAvr4 triggers a hypersensitive response (HR), which renders the pathogen avirulent. Recently, several orthologues of CfAvr4 have been identified from phylogenetically closely related species of Dothideomycete fungi. Of these, DsAvr4 from Dothistroma septosporum also triggers a Cf-4-dependent HR, but CaAvr4 and CbAvr4 from Cercospora apii and Cercospora beticola, respectively, do not. All, however, bind chitin. To identify the region(s) and specific amino acid residue(s) of CfAvr4 and DsAvr4 required to trigger a Cf-4-dependent HR, chimeric and mutant proteins, in which specific protein regions or single amino acid residues, respectively, were exchanged between CfAvr4 and CaAvr4 or DsAvr4 and CbAvr4, were tested for their ability to trigger an HR in Nicotiana benthamiana plants transgenic for the Cf-4 immune receptor gene. Based on this approach, a single region common to CfAvr4 and DsAvr4 was determined to carry a conserved proline residue necessary for the elicitation of this HR. In support of this result, a Cf-4-dependent HR was triggered by mutant CaAvr4 and CbAvr4 proteins carrying an arginine-to-proline substitution at this position. This study provides the first step in deciphering how Avr4 orthologues from different Dothideomycete fungi trigger a Cf-4-dependent HR.
Project description:One of the most devastating fungal diseases of soybean in the southern USA is Cercospora leaf blight (CLB), which is caused mainly by Cercospora cf. flagellaris. Recent studies found that the fungal effector AVR4, originally identified in Cladosporium fulvum as a chitin-binding protein, is highly conserved among other Cercospora species. We wanted to determine whether it is present in C. cf. flagellaris and, if so, whether it plays a role in the pathogen infection of soybean. We cloned the Avr4 gene and created C. cf. flagellaris ?avr4 mutants, which produced little cercosporin and significantly reduced expression of cercosporin biosynthesis genes. The ?avr4 mutants were also more sensitive to chitinase and showed reduced virulence on soybean compared to the wild-type. The observed reduced virulence of C. cf. flagellaris ?avr4 mutants on detached soybean leaves is likely due to reduced cercosporin biosynthesis. The phenotypes of reduced cercosporin production and cercosporin pathway gene expression, similar to those of the ?avr4 mutants, were reproduced when wild-type C. cf. flagellaris was treated with double-stranded RNA targeting Avr4 in vitro. These two independent approaches demonstrated for the first time the direct involvement of AVR4 in the biosynthesis of cercosporin.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leaf mold disease caused by Cladosporium fulvum is a serious threat affecting the global production of tomato. Cf genes are associated with leaf mold resistance, including Cf-16, which confers effective resistance to leaf mold in tomato. However, the molecular mechanism of the Cf-16-mediated resistance response is largely unknown. RESULTS:We performed a comparative transcriptome analysis of C. fulvum-resistant (cv. Ontario7816) and C. fulvum-susceptible (cv. Moneymaker) tomato cultivars to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at 4 and 8?days post inoculation (dpi) with C. fulvum. In total, 1588 and 939 more DEGs were found in Cf-16 tomato than in Moneymaker at 4 and 8 dpi, respectively. Additionally, 1350 DEGs were shared between the 4- and 8-dpi Cf-16 groups, suggesting the existence of common core DEGs in response to C. fulvum infection. The up-regulated DEGs in Cf-16 tomato were primarily associated with defense processes and phytohormone signaling, including salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA). Moreover, SA and JA levels were significantly increased in Cf-16 tomato at the early stages of C. fulvum infection. Contrary to the previous study, the number of up-regulated genes in Cf-16 compared to Cf-10 and Cf-12 tomatoes was significantly higher at the early stages of C. fulvum infection. CONCLUSION:Our results provide new insight into the Cf-mediated mechanism of resistance to C. fulvum, especially the unique characteristics of Cf-16 tomato in response to this fungus.
Project description:Rcr3 is a secreted protease of tomato that is targeted by fungal effector Avr2, a secreted protease inhibitor of the fungal pathogen Cladosporium fulvum. The Avr2-Rcr3 complex is recognized by receptor-like protein Cf-2, triggering hypersensitive cell death (HR) and disease resistance. Avr2 also targets Rcr3 paralog Pip1, which is not required for Avr2 recognition but contributes to basal resistance. Thus, Rcr3 acts as a guarded decoy in this interaction, trapping the fungus into a recognition event. Here we show that Rcr3 evolved >?50 million years ago (Mya), whereas Cf-2 evolved?<6Mya by co-opting the pre-existing Rcr3 in the Solanum genus. Ancient Rcr3 homologs present in tomato, potato, eggplants, pepper, petunia and tobacco can be inhibited by Avr2 with the exception of tobacco Rcr3. Four variant residues in Rcr3 promote Avr2 inhibition, but the Rcr3 that co-evolved with Cf-2 lacks three of these residues, indicating that the Rcr3 co-receptor is suboptimal for Avr2 binding. Pepper Rcr3 triggers HR with Cf-2 and Avr2 when engineered for enhanced inhibition by Avr2. Nicotiana benthamiana (Nb) is a natural null mutant carrying Rcr3 and Pip1 alleles with deleterious frame-shift mutations. Resurrected NbRcr3 and NbPip1 alleles were active proteases and further NbRcr3 engineering facilitated Avr2 inhibition, uncoupled from HR signalling. The evolution of a receptor co-opting a conserved pathogen target contrasts with other indirect pathogen recognition mechanisms.
Project description:Leaf mold disease caused by Cladosporium fulvum is a major disease in cultivated tomato plants and affects global tomato production. Some Cf genes, of which Cf-16 is an effective gene for resisting tomato leaf mold, are associated with leaf mold resistance; however, the molecular mechanism is largely unknown. We used comparative transcriptome analysis of C. fulvum-resistant (cv. Ontario7816, including the Cf-16 gene) and C. fulvum-susceptible (cv. Moneymaker) tomato lines to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at 4 and 8 days postinfection with C. fulvum. Our results provide new insights into the resistance response mechanism of Cf genes to C. fulvum, especially the unique characteristics of Cf-16 in response to C. fulvum infection. Overall design: mRNA profiles of C. fulvum-resistant (cv. Ontario7816, including the Cf-16 gene) and C. fulvum-susceptible (cv. Moneymaker) tomato lines were generated by deep sequencing. The sequence reads that passed quality filters were analyzed at the transcript .
Project description:Effectors are microbial-derived secreted proteins with an essential function in modulating host immunity during infections. CfAvr4, an effector protein from the tomato pathogen Cladosporium fulvum and the founding member of a fungal effector family, promotes parasitism through binding fungal chitin and protecting it from chitinases. Binding of Avr4 to chitin is mediated by a carbohydrate-binding module of family 14 (CBM14), an abundant CBM across all domains of life. To date, the structural basis of chitin-binding by Avr4 effector proteins and of recognition by the cognate Cf-4 plant immune receptor are still poorly understood. Using X-ray crystallography, we solved the crystal structure of CfAvr4 in complex with chitohexaose [(GlcNAc)6] at 1.95Å resolution. This is the first co-crystal structure of a CBM14 protein together with its ligand that further reveals the molecular mechanism of (GlcNAc)6 binding by Avr4 effector proteins and CBM14 family members in general. The structure showed that two molecules of CfAvr4 interact through the ligand and form a three-dimensional molecular sandwich that encapsulates two (GlcNAc)6 molecules within the dimeric assembly. Contrary to previous assumptions made with other CBM14 members, the chitohexaose-binding domain (ChBD) extends to the entire length of CfAvr4 with the reducing end of (GlcNAc)6 positioned near the N-terminus and the non-reducing end at the C-terminus. Site-directed mutagenesis of residues interacting with (GlcNAc)6 enabled the elucidation of the precise topography and amino acid composition of Avr4's ChBD and further showed that these residues do not individually mediate the recognition of CfAvr4 by the Cf-4 immune receptor. Instead, the studies highlighted the dependency of Cf-4-mediated recognition on CfAvr4's stability and resistance against proteolysis in the leaf apoplast, and provided the evidence for structurally separating intrinsic function from immune receptor recognition in this effector family.
Project description:Cf-12 is an effective gene for resisting tomato leaf mold disease caused by Cladosporium fulvum (C. fulvum). Unlike many other Cf genes such as Cf-2, Cf-4, Cf-5, and Cf-9, no physiological races of C. fulvum that are virulent to Cf-12 carrying plant lines have been identified. In order to better understand the molecular mechanism of Cf-12 gene resistance response, RNA-Seq was used to analyze the transcriptome changes at three different stages of C. fulvum infection (0, 4, and 8 days post infection [dpi]). A total of 9100 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between 4 and 0 dpi, 8643 DEGs between 8 and 0 dpi and 2547 DEGs between 8 and 4 dpi were identified. In addition, we found that 736 DEGs shared among the above three groups, suggesting the presence of a common core of DEGs in response to C. fulvum infection. These DEGs were significantly enriched in defense-signaling pathways such as the calcium dependent protein kinases pathway and the jasmonic acid signaling pathway. Additionally, we found that many transcription factor genes were among the DEGs, indicating that transcription factors play an important role in C. fulvum defense response. Our study provides new insight on the molecular mechanism of Cf resistance to C. fulvum, especially the unique features of Cf-12 in responding to C. fulvum infection.
Project description:The plant immune system is activated by microbial patterns that are detected as nonself molecules. Such patterns are recognized by immune receptors that are cytoplasmic or localized at the plasma membrane. Cell surface receptors are represented by receptor-like kinases (RLKs) that frequently contain extracellular leucine-rich repeats and an intracellular kinase domain for activation of downstream signaling, as well as receptor-like proteins (RLPs) that lack this signaling domain. It is therefore hypothesized that RLKs are required for RLPs to activate downstream signaling. The RLPs Cf-4 and Ve1 of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mediate resistance to the fungal pathogens Cladosporium fulvum and Verticillium dahliae, respectively. Despite their importance, the mechanism by which these immune receptors mediate downstream signaling upon recognition of their matching ligand, Avr4 and Ave1, remained enigmatic. Here we show that the tomato ortholog of the Arabidopsis thaliana RLK Suppressor Of BIR1-1/Evershed (SOBIR1/EVR) and its close homolog S. lycopersicum (Sl)SOBIR1-like interact in planta with both Cf-4 and Ve1 and are required for the Cf-4- and Ve1-mediated hypersensitive response and immunity. Tomato SOBIR1/EVR interacts with most of the tested RLPs, but not with the RLKs FLS2, SERK1, SERK3a, BAK1, and CLV1. SOBIR1/EVR is required for stability of the Cf-4 and Ve1 receptors, supporting our observation that these RLPs are present in a complex with SOBIR1/EVR in planta. We show that SOBIR1/EVR is essential for RLP-mediated immunity and propose that the protein functions as a regulatory RLK of this type of cell-surface receptors.