Background: Microbial-associated molecular patterns activate several MAP kinases, which are major regulators of the innate immune response in Arabidopsis thaliana that induce large-scale changes in gene expression. Here, we determine whether microbial-associated molecular pattern-triggered gene expression involves modifications at the chromatin level.
Results: Histone acetylation and deacetylation are major regulators of microbial-associated molecular pattern-triggered gene expression and implicate the histone deacetylase HD2B in the reprogramming of defence gene expression and innate immunity. The MAP kinase MPK3 directly interacts with and phosphorylates HD2B, thereby regulating the intra-nuclear compartmentalization and function of the histone deacetylase.
Conclusions: By studying a number of gene loci that undergo microbial-associated molecular pattern-dependent activation or repression, our data reveal a mechanistic model for how protein kinase signaling directly impacts chromatin reprogramming in plant defense.