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PloS one

Involvement of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) MKK6 in response to potato virus Y.


PMID 25111695

Abstract

Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades have crucial roles in the regulation of plant development and in plant responses to stress. Plant recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns or pathogen-derived effector proteins has been shown to trigger activation of several MAPKs. This then controls defence responses, including synthesis and/or signalling of defence hormones and activation of defence related genes. The MAPK cascade genes are highly complex and interconnected, and thus the precise signalling mechanisms in specific plant-pathogen interactions are still not known. Here we investigated the MAPK signalling network involved in immune responses of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) to Potato virus Y, an important potato pathogen worldwide. Sequence analysis was performed to identify the complete MAPK kinase (MKK) family in potato, and to identify those regulated in the hypersensitive resistance response to Potato virus Y infection. Arabidopsis has 10 MKK family members, of which we identified five in potato and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), and eight in Nicotiana benthamiana. Among these, StMKK6 is the most strongly regulated gene in response to Potato virus Y. The salicylic acid treatment revealed that StMKK6 is regulated by the hormone that is in agreement with the salicylic acid-regulated domains found in the StMKK6 promoter. The involvement of StMKK6 in potato defence response was confirmed by localisation studies, where StMKK6 accumulated strongly only in Potato-virus-Y-infected plants, and predominantly in the cell nucleus. Using a yeast two-hybrid method, we identified three StMKK6 targets downstream in the MAPK cascade: StMAPK4_2, StMAPK6 and StMAPK13. These data together provide further insight into the StMKK6 signalling module and its involvement in plant defence.

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