Characterization of a new Arabidopsis mutant exhibiting enhanced disease resistance

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 1999 Dec;12(12):1053-63. doi: 10.1094/MPMI.1999.12.12.1053.


In many plant-pathogen interactions, resistance is associated with the synthesis and accumulation of salicylic acid (SA) and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. At least two general classes of mutants with altered resistance to pathogen attack have been identified in Arabidopsis. One class exhibits increased susceptibility to pathogen infection; the other class exhibits enhanced resistance to pathogens. In an attempt to identify mutations in resistance-associated loci, we screened a population of T-DNA tagged Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Wassilewskija (Ws) for mutants showing constitutive expression of the PR-1 gene (cep). A mutant was isolated and shown to constitutively express PR-1, PR-2, and PR-5 genes. This constitutive phenotype segregated as a single recessive trait in the Ws genetic background. The mutant also had elevated levels of SA, which are responsible for the cep phenotype. The cep mutant spontaneously formed hypersensitive response (HR)-like lesions on the leaves and cotyledons and also exhibited enhanced resistance to virulent bacterial and fungal pathogens. Genetic analyses of segregating progeny from outcrosses to other ecotypes unexpectedly revealed that alterations in more than one gene condition the constitutive expression of PR genes in the original mutant. One of the mutations, designated cpr20, maps to the lower arm of chromosome 4 and is required for the cep phenotype. Another mutation, which has been termed cpr21, maps to chromosome 1 and is often, but not always, associated with this phenotype. The recessive nature of the cep trait suggests that the CPR20 and CPR21 proteins may act as negative regulators in the disease resistance signal transduction pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics


  • Plant Proteins
  • pathogenesis-related proteins, plant