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MAP kinase signalling cascade in Arabidopsis innate immunity.

Asai T., Tena G., Plotnikova J., Willmann M.R., Chiu W.-L., Gomez-Gomez L., Boller T., Ausubel F.M., Sheen J.

There is remarkable conservation in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by innate immune responses of plants, insects and mammals. We developed an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf cell system based on the induction of early-defence gene transcription by flagellin, a highly conserved component of bacterial flagella that functions as a PAMP in plants and mammals. Here we identify a complete plant MAP kinase cascade (MEKK1, MKK4/MKK5 and MPK3/MPK6) and WRKY22/WRKY29 transcription factors that function downstream of the flagellin receptor FLS2, a leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) receptor kinase. Activation of this MAPK cascade confers resistance to both bacterial and fungal pathogens, suggesting that signalling events initiated by diverse pathogens converge into a conserved MAPK cascade.

Nature 415:977-983(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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