The project aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of plant disease resistance (R) genes in defense responses and plant growth.
Plants use disease resistance (R) genes to detect pathogen invasions as the first-step in defense responses. While the acquisition of new R genes enable plants to resist more pathogens, misregulated R genes have adverse, even detrimental effects on plant growth and development. It is therefore important to understand how R genes are regulated so that they can be introduced to new plants for disease resistance without compromising their growth.
It is shown recently that Disease Resistant (R) genes could be negatively regulated by the plant host genes so they remain inactive when there is no pathogen invasion. We have found that the Arabidopsis BON1 gene is a negative regulator of an R gene SNC1. The loss of BON1 function de-represses SNC1, and both induce constitutive defense responses, and inhibit plant growth. This is possibly a second example of negative regulation of R genes by host genes in plants, and therefore provides us an entry point to study this newly discovered regulation.
Our study has uncovered a plant gene BON1 that regulates the activity of a disease resistance (R) gene SNC1. It supports the recent notion that R genes could be under negative regulation by host genes. We are now using genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches to investigate the interaction between BON1 and SNC1. The molecular mechanisms uncovered will generate insight in R gene regulation in general. It will also provide us tools to engineer plants with new R genes to defend pathogen invasions without compromising plant growth and development.
- Federal Formula Funds - Research (e.g., Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Animal Health)
- Other Federal non-USDA (e.g., NSF, NIH, DOA, DOD)
- Shuhua Yang,Cornell University
- Huijun Yang, Cornell University
- Yongqing Li, Cornell University
- Jian Hua, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University