Imaging-Based Resistance Assay Using Enhanced Luminescence-Tagged Pseudomonas syringae Reveals a Complex Epigenetic Network in Plant Defense Signaling Pathways. Academic Article uri icon


  • High-throughput resistance assays in plants have a limited selection of suitable pathogens. In this study, we developed a Pseudomonas syringae strain chromosomally tagged with the Nanoluc luciferase (NL) from the deep-sea shrimp Oplophorus gracilirostris, a bioluminescent marker significantly brighter than the conventional firefly luciferase. Our reporter strain tagged with NL was more than 100 times brighter than P. syringae tagged with the luxCDABE operon from Photorhabdus luminescens, one of the existing luciferase-based strains. In planta imaging was improved by using the surfactant Silwet L-77, particularly at a lower reporter concentration. Using this imaging system, more than 30 epigenetic mutants were analyzed for their resistance traits because the defense signaling pathway is known to be epigenetically regulated. SWC1, a defense-related chromatin remodeling complex, was found to be a positive defense regulator, which supported one of two earlier conflicting reports. Compromises in DNA methylation in the CG context led to enhanced resistance against virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Dicer-like and Argonaute proteins, important in the biogenesis and exerting the effector function of small RNAs, respectively, showed modest but distinct requirements for effector-triggered immunity and basal resistance to P. syringae pv. tomato. In addition, the transcriptional expression of an epigenetic component was found to be a significant predictor of its immunity contribution. In summary, this study showcased how a high-throughput resistance assay enabled by a pathogen strain with an improved luminescent reporter could provide insightful knowledge about complex defense signaling pathways.[Formula: see text] Copyright 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

published proceedings

  • Mol Plant Microbe Interact

altmetric score

  • 59.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Pujara, D. S., Kim, S., Nam, J. C., Mayorga, J., Elmore, I., Kumar, M., Koiwa, H., & Kang, H.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Pujara, Dinesh S||Kim, Sung-Il||Nam, Ji Chul||Mayorga, José||Elmore, Isabella||Kumar, Manish||Koiwa, Hisashi||Kang, Hong-Gu

publication date

  • September 2021