Immune responses in eukaryotes involve rapid and profound transcriptional reprogramming. Although mechanisms regulating the amplitude of defense gene expression have been extensively characterized, those controlling the speed of defense gene induction are not well understood. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis Elongator subunit 2 (AtELP2) regulates the kinetics of defense gene induction. AtELP2 is required for rapid defense gene induction and the establishment of full basal and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Surprisingly, biological or chemical induction of systemic acquired resistance (SAR), a long-lasting plant immunity against a broad spectrum of pathogens, restores pathogen resistance to Atelp2 mutant plants. Simultaneous removal of AtELP2 and NPR1, a transcription coactivator essential for full-scale expression of a subset of defense genes and the establishment of SAR, completely abolishes resistance to two different ETI-inducing pathogens. These results demonstrate that AtELP2 is an accelerator of defense gene induction, which functions largely independently of NPR1 in establishing plant immunity.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.