02.27// Robin Cameron, Department of Biology, McMaster University Plant immunity: from inter-leaf communication to super immunity in ageing Arabidopsis
Plants rely on innate immunity to perceive and respond to pathogenic microbes. Developmental age can also affect a plant’s ability to defend itself from pathogens. Although plants do not possess moving immune cells, they possess the ability to alert systemic tissues to ongoing localized infections. In the Cameron lab we are interested in understanding systemic and developmental resistance in plants with the long-term goal of enhancing disease resistance in crop plants. Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) allows a plant to perceive an initial infection in one leaf and transmit a signal to inform systemic leaves about the pathogen threat. We use Arabidopsis, cucumber and tobacco to understand how SAR long-distance signals move from initially infected leaves to distant healthy leaves. We are investigating how DIR1, a lipid transfer protein (LTP) moves to distant leaves during SAR. We also study developmentally regulated Age-Related Resistance in Arabidopsis. Young plants are highly susceptible to the bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, but when mature, Arabidopsis displays ARR and responds with a super immune response to these same pathogens. Our studies indicate that during ARR, mature plants defend themselves by limiting bacterial growth and biofilm formation. Although both SAR and ARR pathways allow plants to respond in a resistant manner to normally virulent pathogens, our evidence to date indicates that the mechanisms responsible are unique to each pathway.
Free lunch after the talk 12:30-1:30 3rd floor lunchroom BS Rm. 3406