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Research Project: Mining Collections of Wild Germplasm and Novel Defense Regulators for Enhanced Plant Defenses

Location: Plant Gene Expression Center

Title: Identification of a putative DNA-binding protein in Arabidopsis that acts as a susceptibility hub and interacts with multiple Pseudomonas syringae effectors

item SCHREIBER, KARL - University Of California
item Lewis, Jennifer

Submitted to: Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2020
Publication Date: 12/29/2020
Citation: Schreiber, K.J., Lewis, J.D. 2020. Identification of a putative DNA-binding protein in Arabidopsis that acts as a susceptibility hub and interacts with multiple Pseudomonas syringae effectors. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 34(4).

Interpretive Summary: Substantial yield losses in crop plants are caused by plant pathogenic bacteria. Bacteria inject effector proteins into the plant, where they promote virulence of the bacteria, resulting in disease. One way that disease resistance can be enhanced in plants involves disrupting mechanisms commonly used by pathogens to promote their virulence. We show that a DNA-binding protein, ZIN1, interacts with multiple effector proteins from the plant pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. Loss of ZIN1 resulted in less susceptibility to P. syringae infection, while overexpression of ZIN1 resulted in greater infection. Loss of ZIN1 did not negatively impact plant growth. This work suggests that ZIN1 is a worthwhile target for engineering improved disease resistance in crop plants.

Technical Abstract: Phytopathogens use secreted effector proteins to suppress host immunity and promote pathogen virulence, and there is increasing evidence that the host-pathogen interactome comprises a complex network. In an effort to identify novel interactors of the Pseudomonas syringae effector HopZ1a, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen that identified a previously uncharacterized Arabidopsis protein that we designate HopZ1a Interactor 1 (ZIN1). Additional analyses in yeast and in planta revealed that ZIN1 also interacts with several other P. syringae effectors. We show that an Arabidopsis loss-of-function zin1 mutant is less susceptible to infection by certain strains of P. syringae, while overexpression of ZIN1 results in enhanced susceptibility. Functionally, ZIN1 exhibits topoisomerase-like activity in vitro. Transcriptional profiling of wild-type and zin1 Arabidopsis plants inoculated with P. syringae indicated that while ZIN1 regulates a wide range of pathogen-responsive biological processes, the list of genes more highly expressed in zin1 versus wild-type plants is particularly enriched for ribosomal protein genes. Altogether, these data illuminate ZIN1 as a potential susceptibility hub that interacts with multiple effectors to influence the outcome of plant-microbe interactions.