, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 335-344

The yeast polyadenylate-binding protein (PAB1) gene acts as a disease lesion mimic gene when expressed in plants

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Abstract

We have expressed the gene (PAB1) encoding the yeast polyadenylate-binding protein (Pab1p) in tobacco. Plants that accumulate the Pab1p display a range of abnormalities, ranging from a characteristic chlorosis in leaves to a necrosis and large inhibition of growth. The severity of these abnormalities reflects the levels of yeast Pab1p expression in the transgenic plants. In contrast, no obvious differences could be seen in callus cultures between the transgene and vector control. Plants that display PAB-associated abnormalities were resistant to a range of plant pathogens, and had elevated levels of expression of a pathogenesis-related gene. These two properties – impairment of growth and induction of defense responses – indicate that the yeast PAB1 gene can act as a disease lesion mimic gene in plants.