Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are rapidly activated upon plant recognition of invading pathogens. Here, we describe the use of virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) to study the role of candidate plant MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) homologs of human MEKK1 in pathogen-resistance pathways. We demonstrate that silencing expression of a tobacco MAPKKK, Nicotiana Protein Kinase 1 (NPK1), interferes with the function of the disease-resistance genes N, Bs2, and Rx, but does not affect Pto- and Cf4-mediated resistance. Further, NPK1-silenced plants also exhibit reduced cell size, defective cytokinesis, and an overall dwarf phenotype. Our results provide evidence that NPK1 functions in the regulation of N-, Bs2-, and Rx-mediated resistance responses and may play a role in one or more MAPK cascades, regulating multiple cellular processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology