Location: Chemistry Research Unit
Title: Roles of plant elicitor peptides and their cognate PEPR receptors Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Elicitor Peptides (AtPeps) and Plant Elicitor Peptide Receptors (AtPEPRs) constitute a ligand/receptor system regulating innate immune responses that contribute to disease resistance in Arabidopsis. Despite the seeming redundancy implied by interaction of the eight identified AtPep peptides with two known AtPEPR receptors, each peptide seems to regulate overlapping but distinct responses. While the mechanisms by which this output complexity is achieved are not yet understood, recent findings indicate that the Pep/PEPR regulatory motif is conserved across the plant kingdom. AtPep orthologues have been identified in over 50 plant species, and comparative studies of maize and Arabidopsis Peps reveals several conserved aspects of Pep-regulated defense: In both plants, treatment with the respective Pep (AtPep1 or ZmPep1) stimulates production of the phytohormones jasmonic acid and ethylene and induces accumulation of defense gene transcripts and metabolites. Furthermore, in both maize and Arabidopsis, Pep pretreatment prior to pathogen inoculation attenuates the severity of disease symptoms. Ongoing studies of the maize ZmPep family reveals specificity in both function and elicitation for individual ZmPeps and current research in maize and other species indicates that some Peps regulate additional plant responses beyond disease resistance. Orthologous PEPR receptor candidates have also been identified and are presently under characterization.