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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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Brunner, F.; Rosahl, S.; Lee, J.; Rudd, J.J.; Geiler, C.; Kauppinen, S.; Rasmussen, G.; Scheel, D.; Nürnberger, T. Pep-13, a plant defense-inducing pathogen-associated pattern from <em>Phytophthora transglutaminases</em> EMBO J 21, 6681-6688, (2002)

Innate immunity, an ancient form of defense against microbial infection, is well described for animals and is also suggested to be important for plants. Discrimination from self is achieved through receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) not found in the host. PAMPs are evolutionarily conserved structures which are functionally important and, thus, not subject to frequent mutation. Here we report that the previously described peptide elicitor of defense responses in parsley, Pep-13, constitutes a surface-exposed fragment within a novel calcium-dependent cell wall transglutaminase (TGase) from Phytophthora sojae. TGase transcripts and TGase activity are detectable in all Phytophthora species analyzed, among which are some of the most destructive plant pathogens. Mutational analysis within Pep-13 identified the same amino acids indispensable for both TGase and defense-eliciting activity. Pep-13, conserved among Phytophthora TGases, activates defense in parsley and potato, suggesting its function as a genus-specific recognition determinant for the activation of plant defense in host and non-host plants. In summary, plants may recognize PAMPs with characteristics resembling those known to trigger innate immune responses in animals.
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