A maize cytochrome b–c1 complex subunit protein ZmQCR7 controls variation in the hypersensitive response

Abstract

Main conclusion

The gene GRMZM2G318346 which encodes a cytochrome b–c1 complex subunit 7 is associated with variation in strength of the hypersensitive response in maize.

We previously identified a QTL at 3,545,354 bp (B73 reference genome V2) on maize chromosome 5 associated with variation in the hypersensitive response (HR) conferred by the autoactive R-gene Rp1-D21 (Olukolu et al. in PLoS Genet 10:e1004562 2014). In this study, we show that a gene at this locus, GRMZM2G318346 which encodes a cytochrome b–c1 complex subunit seven (ZmQCR7), an important part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, can suppress HR mediated by Rp1-D21 in a transient expression assay. ZmQCR7 alleles from two maize lines, W22 and B73 differ for the encoded proteins at just two sites, amino acid 27 (threonine and alanine in B73 and W22, respectively) and amino acid 109 (asparagine and serine), however, the B73 allele is much more effective at suppressing HR. We show that variation at amino acid 27 controlled this variation in HR-suppressing effects. We furthermore demonstrate that the B73 allele of ZmQCR7 can suppress HR induced by RPM1(D505 V), another autoactive R-gene, and that Arabidopsis homologs of ZmQCR7 can also suppress NLR-induced HR. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Abbreviations

ETC:

Electron transport chain

HR:

Hypersensitive response

NLR:

Nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat

R-gene:

Resistance gene

SNP:

Single nucleotide polymorphism

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Acknowledgements

Thanks to Don McCarty and Karen Koch, the UniformMu project and the Maize Genetic stock center for providing the seeds (though we did not ultimately report the results here). Thanks to Carole Saravitz and the staff at the NCSU Phytotron for providing space and care for our plants in growth chambers. We thank Drs Jeff Dangl and Farid El Kasmi for providing strains of RPM1(D505 V). This work was supported by USDA-ARS, North Carolina State University and NSF Plant Genome grants #0822495 and #1444503.

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Correspondence to Peter Balint-Kurti.

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He, Y., Kim, S. & Balint-Kurti, P. A maize cytochrome b–c1 complex subunit protein ZmQCR7 controls variation in the hypersensitive response. Planta 249, 1477–1485 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-019-03092-8

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Keywords

  • Hypersensitive response
  • Maize
  • Mitochondrial electron transport chain
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Resistance genes