Asai T, Tena G, Plotnikova J, Willmann MR, Chiu WL, Gomez-Gomez L, Boller T, Ausubel FM, Sheen J.
MAP kinase signalling cascade in Arabidopsis innate immunity.
There is remarkable conservation in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by innate immune responses of plants, insects and mammals. We developed an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf cell system based on the induction of early-defence gene transcription by flagellin, a highly conserved component of bacterial flagella that functions as a PAMP in plants and mammals. Here we identify a complete plant MAP kinase cascade (MEKK1, MKK4/MKK5 and MPK3/MPK6) and WRKY22/WRKY29 transcription factors that function downstream of the flagellin receptor FLS2, a leucine-rich-repeat (LRR) receptor kinase. Activation of this MAPK cascade confers resistance to both bacterial and fungal pathogens, suggesting that signalling events initiated by diverse pathogens converge into a conserved MAPK cascade.