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Purple Acid Phosphatase5 is required for maintaining basal resistance against Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis

Sridhar Ravichandran1, Sophia L Stone2, Bernhard Benkel3 and Balakrishnan Prithiviraj1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS B2N 5E3, Canada

2 Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4J1, Canada

3 Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS B2N 5E3, Canada

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BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:107  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-107

Published: 29 July 2013



Plants have evolved an array of constitutive and inducible defense strategies to restrict pathogen ingress. However, some pathogens still manage to invade plants and impair growth and productivity. Previous studies have revealed several key regulators of defense responses, and efforts have been made to use this information to develop disease resistant crop plants. These efforts are often hampered by the complexity of defense signaling pathways. To further elucidate the complexity of defense responses, we screened a population of T-DNA mutants in Colombia-0 background that displayed altered defense responses to virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000).


In this study, we demonstrated that the Arabidopsis Purple Acid Phosphatse5 (PAP5) gene, induced under prolonged phosphate (Pi) starvation, is required for maintaining basal resistance to certain pathogens. The expression of PAP5 was distinctly induced only under prolonged Pi starvation and during the early stage of Pst DC3000 infection (6 h.p.i). T-DNA tagged mutant pap5 displayed enhanced susceptibility to the virulent bacterial pathogen Pst DC3000. The pap5 mutation greatly reduced the expression of pathogen inducible gene PR1 compared to wild-type plants. Similarly, other defense related genes including ICS1 and PDF1.2 were impaired in pap5 plants. Moreover, application of BTH (an analog of SA) restored PR1 expression in pap5 plants.


Taken together, our results demonstrate the requirement of PAP5 for maintaining basal resistance against Pst DC3000. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that PAP5 acts upstream of SA accumulation to regulate the expression of other defense responsive genes. We also provide the first experimental evidence indicating the role PAP5 in plant defense responses.

Arabidopsis; Plant defense responses; PAP5; Pseudomonas syringae; Phosphate starvation