Publications by authors named "P J Balint-Kurti"

78 Publications

The maize ZmMIEL1 E3 ligase and ZmMYB83 transcription factor proteins interact and regulate the hypersensitive defence response.

Mol Plant Pathol 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

The plant hypersensitive response (HR), a rapid cell death at the point of pathogenesis, is mediated by nucleotide-binding site, leucine-rich repeat (NLR) resistance proteins (R-proteins) that recognize the presence of specific pathogen-derived proteins. Rp1-D21 is an autoactive maize NLR R-protein that triggers HR spontaneously. We previously mapped loci associated with variation in the strength of HR induced by Rp1-D21. Here we identify the E3 ligase ZmMIEL1 as the causal gene at a chromosome 10 modifier locus. Transient ZmMIEL1 expression in Nicotiana benthamiana reduced HR induced by Rp1-D21, while suppression of ZmMIEL1 expression in maize carrying Rp1-D21 increased HR. ZmMIEL1 also suppressed HR induced by another autoactive NLR, the Arabidopsis R-protein RPM1D505V, in N. benthamiana. We demonstrated that ZmMIEL1 is a functional E3 ligase and that the effect of ZmMIEL1 was dependent on the proteasome but also that levels of Rp1-D21 and RPM1D505V were not reduced when coexpressed with ZmMIEL1 in the N. benthamiana system. By comparison to a similar system in Arabidopsis, we identify ZmMYB83 as a potential target of ZmMIEL1. Suppression of ZmMYB83 expression in maize lines carrying Rp1-D21 suppressed HR. Suppression of ZmMIEL1 expression caused an increase in ZmMYB83 transcript and protein levels in N. benthamiana and maize. Using coimmunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays, we demonstrated that ZmMIEL1 and ZmMYB83 physically interacted. Additionally, ZmMYB83 and ZmMIEL1 regulated the expression of a set of maize very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) biosynthetic genes that may be involved in regulating HR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mpp.13057DOI Listing
April 2021

Analysis of the transcriptomic, metabolomic, and gene regulatory responses to Puccinia sorghi in maize.

Mol Plant Pathol 2021 Apr 28;22(4):465-479. Epub 2021 Feb 28.

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Common rust, caused by Puccinia sorghi, is a widespread and destructive disease of maize. The Rp1-D gene confers resistance to the P. sorghi IN2 isolate, mediating a hypersensitive cell death response (HR). To identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and metabolites associated with the compatible (susceptible) interaction and with Rp1-D-mediated resistance in maize, we performed transcriptomics and targeted metabolome analyses of P. sorghi IN2-infected leaves from the near-isogenic lines H95 and H95:Rp1-D, which differed for the presence of Rp1-D. We observed up-regulation of genes involved in the defence response and secondary metabolism, including the phenylpropanoid, flavonoid, and terpenoid pathways. Metabolome analyses confirmed that intermediates from several transcriptionally up-regulated pathways accumulated during the defence response. We identified a common response in H95:Rp1-D and H95 with an additional H95:Rp1-D-specific resistance response observed at early time points at both transcriptional and metabolic levels. To better understand the mechanisms underlying Rp1-D-mediated resistance, we inferred gene regulatory networks occurring in response to P. sorghi infection. A number of transcription factors including WRKY53, BHLH124, NKD1, BZIP84, and MYB100 were identified as potentially important signalling hubs in the resistance-specific response. Overall, this study provides a novel and multifaceted understanding of the maize susceptible and resistance-specific responses to P. sorghi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mpp.13040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938627PMC
April 2021

Maize Plants Chimeric for an Autoactive Resistance Gene Display a Cell Autonomous Hypersensitive Response but Non-Cell Autonomous Defense Signaling.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2021 Jan 28. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

USDA-ARS, Plant Science Research Unit, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.

The maize gene Rp1-D21 is a mutant form of the gene Rp1-D that confers resistance to common rust. Rp1-D21 triggers a spontaneous defense response that occurs in the absence of the pathogen and includes a programed cell death called the hypersensitive response (HR). Eleven plants heterozygous for Rp1-D21, in four different genetic backgrounds, were identified that had chimeric leaves with lesioned sectors showing HR abutting green non-lesioned sectors lacking HR. The Rp1-D21 sequence derived from each of the lesioned portions of leaves was unaltered from the expected sequence whereas the Rp1-D21 sequences from nine of the non-lesioned sectors displayed various mutations and we were unable to amplify Rp1-D21 from the other two non-lesioned sectors. In every case, the borders between the sectors were sharp with no transition zone, suggesting that HR and chlorosis associated with Rp1-D21 activity was cell-autonomous. Expression of defense response marker genes was assessed in the lesioned and non-lesioned sectors as well as in near-isogenic plants lacking and carrying Rp1-D21. Defense gene expression was somewhat elevated in non-lesioned sectors abutting sectors carrying Rp1-D21 compared to near-isogenic plants lacking Rp1-D21. This suggests that while the HR itself was cell autonomous, other aspects of the defense response initiated by Rp1-D21 were not.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-04-20-0091-RDOI Listing
January 2021

Genome-wide association analysis of the strength of the MAMP-elicited defense response and resistance to target leaf spot in sorghum.

Sci Rep 2020 11 30;10(1):20817. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7613, USA.

Plants have the capacity to respond to conserved molecular features known as microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). The goal of this work was to assess variation in the MAMP response in sorghum, to map loci associated with this variation, and to investigate possible connections with variation in quantitative disease resistance. Using an assay that measures the production of reactive oxygen species, we assessed variation in the MAMP response in a sorghum association mapping population known as the sorghum conversion population (SCP). We identified consistent variation for the response to chitin and flg22-an epitope of flagellin. We identified two SNP loci associated with variation in the flg22 response and one with the chitin response. We also assessed resistance to Target Leaf Spot (TLS) disease caused by the necrotrophic fungus Bipolaris cookei in the SCP. We identified one strong association on chromosome 5 near a previously characterized disease resistance gene. A moderately significant correlation was observed between stronger flg22 response and lower TLS resistance. Possible reasons for this are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77684-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7704633PMC
November 2020

Maize metacaspases modulate the defense response mediated by the NLR protein Rp1-D21 likely by affecting its subcellular localization.

Plant J 2021 01 20;105(1):151-166. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

The Key Laboratory of Plant Development and Environmental Adaptation Biology, Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Qingdao, Shandong, 266237, PR China.

Plants usually employ resistance (R) genes to defend against the infection of pathogens, and most R genes encode intracellular nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins. The recognition between R proteins and their cognate pathogens often triggers a rapid localized cell death at the pathogen infection sites, termed the hypersensitive response (HR). Metacaspases (MCs) belong to a cysteine protease family, structurally related to metazoan caspases. MCs play crucial roles in plant immunity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism and the link between MCs and NLR-mediated HR are not clear. In this study, we systematically investigated the MC gene family in maize and identified 11 ZmMCs belonging to two types. Further functional analysis showed that the type I ZmMC1 and ZmMC2, but not the type II ZmMC9, suppress the HR-inducing activity of the autoactive NLR protein Rp1-D21 and of its N-terminal coiled-coil (CC ) signaling domain when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. ZmMC1 and ZmMC2 physically associate with CC in vivo. We further showed that ZmMC1 and ZmMC2, but not ZmMC9, are predominantly localized in a punctate distribution in both N. benthamiana and maize (Zea mays) protoplasts. Furthermore, the co-expression of ZmMC1 and ZmMC2 with Rp1-D21 and CC causes their re-distribution from being uniformly distributed in the nucleocytoplasm to a punctate distribution co-localizing with ZmMC1 and ZmMC2. We reveal a novel role of plant MCs in modulating the NLR-mediated defense response and derive a model to explain it.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tpj.15047DOI Listing
January 2021