Specific bacterial suppressors of MAMP signaling upstream of MAPKKK in Arabidopsis innate immunity

Cell. 2006 May 5;125(3):563-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.02.047.


Plants and animals possess innate immune systems to prevent infections and are effectively "nonhosts" for most potential pathogens. The molecular mechanisms underlying nonhost immunity in plants remain obscure. In Arabidopsis, nonhost/nonpathogenic Pseudomonas syringae sustains but pathogenic P. syringae suppresses early MAMP (microbe-associated molecular pattern) marker-gene activation. We performed a cell-based genetic screen of virulence factors and identified AvrPto and AvrPtoB as potent and unique suppressors of early-defense gene transcription and MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling. Unlike effectors of mammalian pathogens, AvrPto and AvrPtoB intercept multiple MAMP-mediated signaling upstream of MAPKKK at the plasma membrane linked to the receptor. In transgenic Arabidopsis, AvrPto blocks early MAMP signaling and enables nonhost P. syringae growth. Deletions of avrPto and avrPtoB from pathogenic P. syringae reduce its virulence. The studies reveal a fundamental role of MAMP signaling in nonhost immunity, and a novel action of type III effectors from pathogenic bacteria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / immunology*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / genetics
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genetic Markers / immunology
  • Immune Tolerance / genetics
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases / genetics
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases / immunology
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases / metabolism*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / enzymology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / immunology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas syringae / genetics
  • Pseudomonas syringae / immunology
  • Pseudomonas syringae / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics
  • Transcriptional Activation / immunology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Genetic Markers
  • avrPto protein, Pseudomonas syringae
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases