Plant stomata function in innate immunity against bacterial invasion.
Microbial entry into host tissue is a critical first step in causing infection in animals and plants. In plants, it has been assumed that microscopic surface openings, such as stomata, serve as passive ports of bacterial entry during infection. Surprisingly, we found that stomatal closure is part of a plant innate immune response to restrict bacterial invasion. Stomatal guard cells of Arabidopsis perceive bacterial surface molecules, which requires the FLS2 receptor, production of nitric oxide, and the guard-cell-specific OST1 kinase. To circumvent this innate immune response, plant pathogenic bacteria have evolved specific virulence factors to effectively cause stomatal reopening as an important pathogenesis strategy. We provide evidence that supports a model in which stomata, as part of an integral innate immune system, act as a barrier against bacterial infection.
Melotto, M; Underwood, W; Koczan, J; Nomura, K; He, SY
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