An atypical NLR gene confers bacterial wilt susceptibility in Arabidopsis

Plant Commun. 2023 Sep 11;4(5):100607. doi: 10.1016/j.xplc.2023.100607. Epub 2023 Apr 25.


Quantitative disease resistance (QDR) remains the most prevalent form of plant resistance in crop fields and wild habitats. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have proved to be successful in deciphering the quantitative genetic basis of complex traits such as QDR. To unravel the genetics of QDR to the devastating worldwide bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum, we performed a GWAS by challenging a highly polymorphic local mapping population of Arabidopsis thaliana with four R. solanacearum type III effector (T3E) mutants, identified as key pathogenicity determinants after a first screen on an A. thaliana core collection of 25 accessions. Although most quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were highly specific to the identity of the T3E mutant (ripAC, ripAG, ripAQ, and ripU), we finely mapped a common QTL located on a cluster of nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR) genes that exhibited structural variation. We functionally validated one of these NLRs as a susceptibility factor in response to R. solanacearum, named it Bacterial Wilt Susceptibility 1 (BWS1), and cloned two alleles that conferred contrasting levels of QDR. Further characterization indicated that expression of BWS1 leads to suppression of immunity triggered by different R. solanacearum effectors. In addition, we showed a direct interaction between BWS1 and RipAC T3E, and BWS1 and SUPPRESSOR OF G2 ALLELE OF skp1 (SGT1b), the latter interaction being suppressed by RipAC. Together, our results highlight a putative role for BWS1 as a quantitative susceptibility factor directly targeted by the T3E RipAC, mediating negative regulation of the SGT1-dependent immune response.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; GWAS; R gene; Ralstonia solanacearum; susceptibility; type III effectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Disease Resistance / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • SGT1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • Arabidopsis Proteins