A humidity-sensitive Arabidopsis copine mutant exhibits precocious cell death and increased disease resistance

N. Jambunathan, J. M. Siani, T. W. McNellis

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162 Scopus citations


The copines are a newly identified class of calcium-dependent, phospholipid binding proteins that are present in a wide range of organisms, including Paramecium, plants, Caenorhabditis elegans, mouse, and human. However, the biological functions of the copines are unknown. Here, we describe a humidity-sensitive copine mutant in Arabidopsis. Under nonpermissive, low-humidity conditions, the cpn1-1 mutant displayed aberrant regulation of cell death that included a lesion mimic phenotype and an accelerated hypersensitive response (HR). However, the HR in cpn1-1 showed no increase in sensitivity to low pathogen titers. Low-humidity-grown cpn1-1 mutants also exhibited morphological abnormalities, increased resistance to virulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae and Peronospora parasitica, and constitutive expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. Growth of cpn1-1 under permissive, high-humidity conditions abolished the increased disease resistance, lesion mimic, and morphological mutant phenotypes but only partially alleviated the accelerated HR and constitutive PR gene expression phenotypes. The disease resistance phenotype of cpn1-1 suggests that the CPN1 gene regulates defense responses. Alternatively, the primary function of CPN1 may be the regulation of plant responses to low humidity, and the effect of the cpn1-1 mutation on disease resistance may be indirect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2225-2240
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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