In PLoS Genet: An NLR that modulates ACD6 activity

Modulation of ACD6 dependent hyperimmunity by natural alleles of an Arabidopsis thaliana NLR resistance gene

OA | ACD6 hyperimmunity suppressed by natural alleles of an NLR resistance gene

Zhu W, Zaidem M, et al.

PLoS Genet. 2018 Sep 20;14(9):e1007628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007628.

Plants defend themselves against pathogens by activating immune responses. Unfortunately, these can cause unintended collateral damage to the plant itself. Nevertheless, some wild plants have genetic variants that confer a low threshold for the activation of immunity. While these enable a plant to respond particularly quickly to pathogen attack, such variants might be potentially dangerous. We are investigating one such variant of the immune gene ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 6 (ACD6) in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We discovered that there are variants at other genetic loci that can mask the effects of an overly active ACD6 gene. One of these genes, SUPPRESSOR OF NPR1-1, CONSTITUTIVE 1 (SNC1), codes for a known immune receptor. The SNC1 variant that attenuates ACD6 activity is rather common in A. thaliana populations, suggesting that new combinations of the hyperactive ACD6 variant and this antagonistic SNC1 variant will often arise by natural crosses. Similarly, because the two genes are unlinked, outcrossing will often lead to the hyperactive ACD6 variants being unmasked again. We propose that allelic diversity at SNC1 contributes to the maintenance of the hyperactive ACD6 variant in natural A. thaliana populations.