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UV-induced DNA damage promotes resistance to the biotrophic pathogen Hyaloperonospora parasitica in Arabidopsis

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-10-01, 00:00 authored by Bernard Kunz, Paige Dando, Desma Grice, P Mohr, P Schenk, David CahillDavid Cahill
Plant innate immunity to pathogenic microorganisms is activated in response to recognition of extracellular or intracellular pathogen molecules by transmembrane receptors or resistance proteins, respectively. The defense signaling pathways share components with those involved in plant responses to UV radiation, which can induce expression of plant genes important for pathogen resistance. Such intriguing links suggest that UV treatment might activate resistance to pathogens in normally susceptible host plants. Here, we demonstrate that pre-inoculative UV (254 nm) irradiation of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) susceptible to infection by the biotrophic oomycete Hyaloperonospora parasitica, the causative agent of downy mildew, induces dose- and time-dependent resistance to the pathogen detectable up to 7 d after UV exposure. Limiting repair of UV photoproducts by postirradiation incubation in the dark, or mutational inactivation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyase, (6-4) photoproduct photolyase, or nucleotide excision repair increased the magnitude of UV-induced pathogen resistance. In the absence of treatment with 254-nm UV, plant nucleotide excision repair mutants also defective for cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer or (6-4) photoproduct photolyase displayed resistance to H. parasitica, partially attributable to short wavelength UV-B (280–320 nm) radiation emitted by incubator lights. These results indicate UV irradiation can initiate the development of resistance to H. parasitica in plants normally susceptible to the pathogen and point to a key role for UV-induced DNA damage. They also suggest UV treatment can circumvent the requirement for recognition of H. parasitica molecules by Arabidopsis proteins to activate an immune response.



Plant physiology






1021 - 1031


American Society of Plant Physiologists


Bethesda, Md, United States







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, American Society of Plant Biologists