During plant-pathogen interactions, plants have to relocate their resources including energy to defend invading organisms; as a result, plant growth and development are usually reduced. Arabidopsis
signal responsive1 (AtSR1) has been documented as a negative regulator of plant immune responses and could serve as a positive regulator of plant growth and development. However, the mechanism by which AtSR1 balances plant growth and immunity is poorly understood. Here, we performed a global gene expression profiling using Affymetrix microarrays to study how AtSR1 regulates defense- and growth-related genes in plants with and without bacterial pathogen infection. Results revealed that AtSR1 negatively regulates most of the immune-related genes involved in molecular pattern-triggered immunity (PTI), effector-triggered immunity (ETI), and in salicylic acid (SA)- and jasmonate (JA)-mediated signaling pathways. AtSR1 may rigidly regulate several steps of the SA-mediated pathway, from the activation of SA synthesis to the perception of SA signal. Furthermore, AtSR1 may also regulate plant growth through its involvement in regulating auxin- and BRs-related pathways. Although microarray data revealed that expression levels of defense-related genes induced by pathogens are higher in wild-type (WT) plants than that in atsr1
mutant plants, WT plants are more susceptible to the infection of virulent pathogen as compared to atsr1
mutant plants. These observations indicate that the AtSR1 functions in suppressing the expression of genes induced by pathogen attack and contributes to the rapid establishment of resistance in WT background. Results of electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR assays suggest that AtSR1 acts as transcription factor in balancing plant growth and immunity, through interaction with the “CGCG” containing CG-box in the promotors of its target genes.
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