Identification of the regulator of cell death during plant-pathogen interactions

October 27(Fri), 2017

The joint research group of Assistant Professor Hidenori Matsui of Okayama University Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science (Agriculture), Hirofumi Nakagami, visiting researcher at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, et al. used Arabidopsis thaliana as the model plant and identified a factor PSIG1, which regulates cell death when a plant is infected by pathogens, by utilizing phosphoproteomic techniques. The result of this research was published in the American scientific journal PLOS Genetics as a research article on October 26, 2 PM (October 27, 3 AM, Japan Time).

Plants are exposed to various types of pathogens in nature. It is estimated that food that could feed 800 million people is lost in crop production due to plant diseases every year. The enhancement of crop disease resistance and the development of protection technology for crops are important topics for responding to the need for a stable increase in food production due to population increase. Understanding the immune system that plants exhibit against pathogens is essential for enhancing crops disease resistance. However, there are many areas yet to be elucidated about the molecular mechanisms of how plants regulate immune responses to various types of pathogens.
The research group focused on the mechanism called phosphorylation that controls the function of protein and searched for factors whose phosphorylation status is modulated during PAMP-induced immune activation. The research found that the identified factor “PSIG1” regulates and optimizes the induction of cell death associated with the immune response upon infection with pathogens in order to handle pathogens with different kinds of infection strategies. Furthermore, the team found that PSIG1 interacts with the factor SMG7, which regulates RNA metabolism, suggesting that RNA metabolism may play an important role in controlling cell death when a plant is infected with pathogens. The result of this study is expected to improve the understanding of plant immune systems as well as contribute greatly to the development of technology to enhance crop disease resistance.


Article Information


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007037

Authors: Hidenori Matsui, Yuko Nomura, Mayumi Egusa, Takahiro Hamada, Gang-Su Hyon, Hironori Kaminaka, Yuichiro Watanabe, Takashi Ueda, Marco Trujillo, Ken Shirasu, Hirofumi Nakagami

Journal: PLOS Genetics

Title: The GYF domain protein PSIG1 dampens the induction of cell death during plant-pathogen interactions

Year of Publication: October, 2017


Okayama University Silicon Valley Office (OUSVO)

Contact: Mototaka Senda, Ph.D.

Phone:    (1)510-894-3067




pathogens, PSIG1, SMG7, RNA metabolism, RNA

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