Plant immunity to avirulent bacterial pathogens is associated with subcellular membrane dynamics including fusion between the vacuolar and plasma membranes, resulting in hypersensitive cell death. Here, we report that ADAPTOR PROTEIN COMPLEX-4 (AP-4) subunits are involved in plant immunity associated with hypersensitive cell death. We isolated a mutant with a defect in resistance to an avirulent strain of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pto) DC3000 avrRpm1 from a vacuolar protein sorting mutant library of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The mutant was identical to gfs4-1, which has a mutation in the gene encoding the AP-4 subunit AP4B. Thus, we focused on AP4B and another subunit, AP4E. All of the mutants (ap4b-3, ap4b-4, ap4e-1, and ap4e-2) were defective in hypersensitive cell death and resistance to Pto DC3000 with the type III effector AvrRpm1 or AvrRpt2, both of which are recognized on the plasma membrane, while they showed slightly enhanced susceptibility to the type-III-secretion-deficient P. syringae strain hrcC. On the other hand, both ap4b-3 and ap4b-4 showed no defect in resistance to Pto DC3000 with the type III effector AvrRps4, which is recognized in the cytosol and does not induce hypersensitive cell death. Upon infection with Pto DC3000 avrRpt2, the ap4b-3 and ap4b-4 leaf cells did not show fusion between vacuolar and plasma membranes, whereas the wild-type leaf cells did. These results suggest that AP-4 contributes to cell death-associated immunity, possibly via membrane fusion, after type III effector-recognition on the plasma membrane.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (grant nos. 22000014 and 15H05776 to I.H.-N. and 23570043 to N.H.) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and by a National Science Foundation grant (grant no. IOS-1121425 to F.K.).