A chimeric IDD4 repressor constitutively induces immunity in Arabidopsis via the modulation of salicylic- and jasmonic acid homeostasis

Ronny Volz, SoonKap Kim, Jianing Mi, Kiruthiga Mariappan, Anna Siodmak, Salim Al-Babili, Heribert Hirt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD)/BIRD proteins belong to a highly-conserved plant-specific group of transcription factors with dedicated functions in plant physiology and development. Here, we took advantage of the chimeric repressor gene-silencing technology (CRES-T, SRDX) to widen our view on the role of IDD4/IMPERIAL EAGLE and IDD family members in plant immunity. The hypomorphic idd4SRDX lines are compromised in growth and show a robust auto-immune phenotype. Hormonal measurements revealed the concomitant accumulation of salicylic acid and jasmonic acid suggesting that IDDs are involved in regulating the metabolism of these biotic-stress hormones. The analysis of immunity-pathways showed enhanced activation of immune MAP kinase-signaling pathways, the accumulation of hydrogen-peroxide and spontaneous programmed cell-death. The transcriptome of non-elicited idd4SRDX lines can be aligned to approximately 40% of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in flg22-treated wild-type plants. The pattern of DEGs implies IDDs as pivotal repressors of flg22-dependent gene induction. Infection experiments showed the increased resistance of idd4SRDX lines to Pseudomonas syringae and Botrytis cinerea implying a function of IDDs in defense adaptation to hemibiotrophs and necrotrophs. Genome-wide IDD4 DNA binding studies (DAP-SEQ) combined with DEG analysis of idd4SRDX lines identified IDD4-regulated functional gene clusters that contribute to plant growth and development. In summary, we discovered that the expression of idd4SRDX activates a wide range of defense-related-traits opening up the possibility to apply idd4SRDX as a powerful tool to stimulate innate immunity in engineered crops.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1536-1555
Number of pages20
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1062
Acknowledgements: Funding for the project was provided to HH by baseline funding project BAS/1/1062 of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.


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