Nonhost resistance in Arabidopsis-Colletotrichum interactions acts at the cell periphery and requires actin filament function

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2006 Mar;19(3):270-9. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-19-0270.


Pathogenesis of nonadapted fungal pathogens is often terminated coincident with their attempted penetration into epidermal cells of nonhost plants. The genus Colletotrichum represents an economically important group of fungal plant pathogens that are amenable to molecular genetic analysis. Here, we investigated interactions between Arabidopsis and Colletotrichum to gain insights in plant and pathogen processes activating nonhost resistance responses. Three tested nonadapted Colletotrichum species differentiated melanized appressoria on Arabidopsis leaves but failed to form intracellular hyphae. Plant cells responded to Colletotrichum invasion attempts by the formation of PMR4/GSL5-dependent papillary callose. Appressorium differentiation and melanization were insufficient to trigger this localized plant cell response, but analysis of nonpathogenic C. lagenarium mutants implicates penetration-peg formation as the inductive cue. We show that Arabidopsis PEN1 syntaxin controls timely accumulation of papillary callose but is functionally dispensable for effective preinvasion (penetration) resistance in nonhost interactions. Consistent with this observation, green fluorescent protein-tagged PEN1 did not accumulate at sites of attempted penetration by either adapted or nonadapted Colletotrichum species, in contrast to the pronounced focal accumulations of PEN1 associated with entry of powdery mildews. We observed extensive reorganization of actin microfilaments leading to polar orientation of large actin bundles towards appressorial contact sites in interactions with the nonadapted Colletotrichum species. Pharmacological inhibition of actin filament function indicates a functional contribution of the actin cytoskeleton for both preinvasion resistance and papillary callose formation. Interestingly, the incidence of papilla formation at entry sites was greatly reduced in interactions with C. higginsianum isolates, indicating that this adapted pathogen may suppress preinvasion resistance at the cell periphery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology*
  • Colletotrichum / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / microbiology


  • Actins