The phenomenon that all members of a plant species exhibit resistance to the pathogens that infect other plant species is known as `non-host¿ resistance. In Arabidopsis the mutation LRA5+-1 reduces non-host resistance to some bacterial and fungal phytopathogens. While there is no macroscopic phenotype associated with the mutation, transcriptomic data show that LRA5+-1 plants lack basal expression of defence transcripts. LRA5+-1 has been mapped to an ~80 kb interval on chromosome II containing no genes or homologues of genes previously implicated in disease resistance. Complementation studies are in progress, and the cloning of LRA5+-1 is expected shortly. Thus, the mapping and transcriptomic data suggest that LRA5+-1 is a novel gene, regulating a central no de in plant defence.
In this project I will use biochemical approaches to elucidate the role of LRA5+-1 in non-host resistance. LRA5+-1 is a dominant gain-of-function mutation. Therefore both the mutant and the wild-type proteins will be analysed. To this end I will generate transgenic lines of Arabidopsis expressing epitope-tagged versions of LRA5+-1 and LRA5 (LRA5s). This will allow a study of the dynamics of the proteins in response to plant defence signalling molecules and pathogen challenge, and identification of proteins associated with LRA5s by coimmunoprecipitation.
The project will provide me with a great opportunity to learn new biochemistry techniques, complementing my skills in genetics and molecular biology, which will be of great use in my future career. The project provides a unique opportunity to unravel some of the mechanisms underlying non-host resistance and deliver an exciting contribution to the scientific community. The host institution (IBMCP) is a renowned institute in Spain fully equipped for molecular biology and biochemistry, which will enable the successful execution of the project.
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