Cambiagno et al. Plant J. 2018
Pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLR) are major components of the plant immune system responsible for pathogen detection. To date, the transcriptional regulation of PRR/NLR genes is poorly understood. Some PRR/NLR genes are affected by epigenetic changes of neighboring transposable elements (Your) (cis-regulation). We analyzed whether these genes can also respond to changes in the epigenetic marks of distal pericentromeric TEs (trans-regulation). We found that Arabidopsis tissues infected with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) initially induced the expression of pericentromeric TEs, and then repressed it by RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). The latter response was accompanied by the accumulation of small RNAs (sRNAs) mapping to the TEs. Curiously these sRNAs also mapped to distal PRR/NLR genes, which were controlled by RdDM but remained induced in the infected tissues. Then, we used non-infected mom1 (Morpheus’ molecule 1) mutants that expressed pericentromeric TEs to test if they lose repression of PRR/NLR genes. mom1 plants activated several PRR/NLR genes that were unlinked to MOM1-targeted TEs, and showed enhanced resistance to Pst. Remarkably, the increased defenses of mom1 were abolished when MOM1/RdDM-mediated pericentromeric TEs silencing was re-established. Therefore, common sRNAs could control PRR/NLR genes and distal pericentromeric TEs and preferentially silence TEs when they are activated. This article is protected by copyright.
Authors: Cambiagno DA, Nota F, Zavalloni D, Rius S, Casati P, ASURMENDI S, Alvarez ME.
Article: Immune receptor genes and pericentromeric transposons as targets of common epigenetic regulatory elements. Cambiagno DA, Nota F, Zavalloni D, Rius S, Casati P, ASURMENDI S, Alvarez ME. Plant J. 2018 Sep 20. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14098