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Nov. 3 Seminar - Xinnian DONG

Live and let die: A defense strategy in plants

Xinnian Dong, PhD

Distinguished professor of Biology, Duke University

Member of National Academy of Sciences

HHMI-GBMF investigator

Abstract:Effector-triggered immunity (ETI), a major defense mechanism in plants, is often associated with programmed cell death (PCD). However, plants lack close homologs of caspases, the key mediators of PCD in animals. In my talk, I will present our recent work showing that the Arabidopsis nuclear envelope protein, CPR5, negatively regulates ETI and PCD through a physical interaction with cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs). Upon ETI induction, CKIs are released from CPR5 to cause overactivation of another core cell-cycle regulator, E2F. In cki and e2f mutants, ETI responses induced by both TIR-NB-LRR and CC-NB-LRR classes of immune receptors are compromised. We further show that E2F is deregulated during ETI, probably through CKI-mediated hyperphosphorylation of retinoblastoma-related 1 (RBR1). This study demonstrates that canonical cell cycle regulators play important noncanonical roles in plant immunity. I will also present data demonstrating how the immune signal salicylic acid generated during ETI and the circadian clock restrict the spread of PCD and balance defense and growth. 

Time: Nov 3rd, 2015, 16:00

Venue: New Biology Building, Room 143

Host: Prof. Yule Liu



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