The role of EDS1 (enhanced disease susceptibility) during singlet oxygen-mediated stress responses of Arabidopsis

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Abstract

Summary

Upon a dark/light shift the conditional flu mutant of Arabidopsis starts to generate singlet oxygen (1O2) that is restricted to the plastid compartment. Distinct sets of genes are activated that are different from those induced by hydrogen peroxide/superoxide. One of the genes that is rapidly upregulated is EDS1 (enhanced disease susceptibility). The EDS1 protein has been shown to be required for the resistance to biotrophic pathogens and the accumulation of salicylic acid (SA) that enhances the defenses of a plant by inducing the synthesis of pathogen-related (PR) proteins. Because of the similarity of its N-terminal portion to the catalytic site of lipases, EDS1 has also been implicated with the release of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the subsequent formation of various oxylipins. The release of singlet oxygen in the flu mutant triggers a drastic increase in the concentration of free SA and activates the expression of PR1 and PR5 genes. These changes depend on the activity of EDS1 and are suppressed in flu/eds1 double mutants. Soon after the beginning of singlet oxygen production, the synthesis of oxylipins such as jasmonic acid (JA) and 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) also start and plants stop growing and induce a cell-death response. The inactivation of EDS1 does not affect oxylipin synthesis, growth inhibition and the initiation of cell death, but it does allow plants to recover much faster from singlet oxygen-mediated growth inhibition and it also suppresses the spread of necrotic lesions in leaves. Hence, singlet oxygen activates a complex stress-response program with EDS1 playing a key role in initiating and modulating several steps of it. This program includes not only responses to oxidative stress, but also responses known to be activated during plant–pathogen interactions and wounding.

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