VPS9a activates the Rab5 GTPase ARA7 to confer distinct pre- and postinvasive plant innate immunity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Plant innate immunity can effectively prevent the proliferation of filamentous pathogens. Papilla formation at the site of attack is essential for preinvasive immunity; in postinvasive immunity, the encasement of pathogen structures inside host cells can hamper disease. Whereas papillae are highly dependent on transcytosis of premade material, little is known about encasement formation. Here, we show that endosome-associated VPS9a, the conserved guanine-nucleotide exchange factor activating Rab5 GTPases, is required for both pre- and postinvasive immunity against a nonadapted powdery mildew fungus (Blumeria graminis f. sp hordei) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Surprisingly, VPS9a acts in addition to two previously well-described innate immunity components and thus represents an additional step in the regulation of how plants resist pathogens. We found VPS9a to be important for delivering membrane material to the encasement and VPS9a also plays a predominant role in postinvasive immunity. GTP-bound Rab5 GTPases accumulate in the encasement, but not the papillae, suggesting that two independent pathways form these defense structures. VPS9a also mediates defense to an adapted powdery mildew fungus, thus regulating a durable type of defense that works in both host and nonhost resistance. We propose that VPS9a plays a conserved role in organizing cellular endomembrane trafficking, required for delivery of defense components in response to powdery mildew fungi.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1927-1937
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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