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BMC Research Notes

, 1:126

First Online: 02 December 2008Received: 24 October 2008Accepted: 02 December 2008DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-1-126

Cite this article as: Gopalan, S. BMC Res Notes 2008 1: 126. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-1-126


BackgroundOne form of plant immunity against pathogens involves a rapid host programmed cell death at the site of infection accompanied by the activation of local and systemic resistance to pathogens, termed the hypersensitive response HR. In this work it was tested i if the plant growth regulator auxin can inhibit the cell death elicited by a purified proteinaceous HR elicitor, ii how far down the process this inhibition can be achieved, and iii if the inhibition affects reporters of immune response. The effect of constitutive modulation of endogenous auxin levels in transgenic plants on this cell death program was also evaluated.

ResultsThe HR programmed cell death initiated by a bacterial type III secretion system dependent proteinaceous elicitor harpin from Erwinia amylovora can be reversed till very late in the process by the plant growth regulator auxin. Early inhibition or late reversal of this cell death program does not affect marker genes correlated with local and systemic resistance. Transgenic plants constitutively modulated in endogenous levels of auxin are not affected in ability or timing of cell death initiated by harpin.

ConclusionThese data indicate that the cell death program initiated by harpin can be reversed till late in the process without effect on markers strongly correlated with local and systemic immunity. The constitutive modulation of endogenous auxin does not affect equivalent signaling processes affecting cell death or buffers these signals. The concept and its further study has utility in choosing better strategies for treating mammalian and agricultural diseases.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-1-126 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Suresh Gopalan


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