Fusicoccin, 14-3-3 proteins, and defense responses in tomato plants.
Fusicoccin (FC) is a fungal toxin that activates the plant plasma membrane H+-ATPase by binding with 14-3-3 proteins, causing membrane hyperpolarization. Here we report on the effect of FC on a gene-for-gene pathogen-resistance response and show that FC application induces the expression of several genes involved in plant responses to pathogens. Ten members of the FC-binding 14-3-3 protein gene family were isolated from tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) to characterize their role in defense responses. Sequence analysis is suggestive of common biochemical functions for these tomato 14-3-3 proteins, but their genes showed different expression patterns in leaves after challenges. Different specific subsets of 14-3-3 genes were induced after treatment with FC and during a gene-for-gene resistance response. Possible roles for the H+-ATPase and 14-3-3 proteins in responses to pathogens are discussed.