Wide Screening of Phage-Displayed Libraries Identifies Immune Targets in Planta
Van Wees, Saskia C.
Charlton, Keith A.
Pieterse, Corne M.J.
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PLoS ONE 8(1) : (2013) // e54654
Microbe-Associated Molecular Patterns and virulence effectors are recognized by plants as a first step to mount a defence response against potential pathogens. This recognition involves a large family of extracellular membrane receptors and other immune proteins located in different sub-cellular compartments. We have used phage-display technology to express and select for Arabidopsis proteins able to bind bacterial pathogens. To rapidly identify microbe-bound phage, we developed a monitoring method based on microarrays. This combined strategy allowed for a genome-wide screening of plant proteins involved in pathogen perception. Two phage libraries for high-throughput selection were constructed from cDNA of plants infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, or from combined samples of the virulent isolate DC3000 of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and its avirulent variant avrRpt2. These three pathosystems represent different degrees in the specificity of plant-microbe interactions. Libraries cover up to 26107 different plant transcripts that can be displayed as functional proteins on the surface of T7 bacteriophage. A number of these were selected in a bio-panning assay for binding to Pseudomonas cells. Among the selected clones we isolated the ethylene response factor ATERF-1, which was able to bind the three bacterial strains in competition assays. ATERF-1 was rapidly exported from the nucleus upon infiltration of either alive or heat-killed Pseudomonas. Moreover, aterf-1 mutants exhibited enhanced susceptibility to infection. These findings suggest that ATERF-1 contains a microbe-recognition domain with a role in plant defence. To identify other putative pathogen-binding proteins on a genome-wide scale, the copy number of selected-vs.-total clones was compared by hybridizing phage cDNAs with Arabidopsis microarrays. Microarray analysis revealed a set of 472 candidates with significant fold change. Within this set defence-related genes, including well-known targets of bacterial effectors, are over-represented. Other genes non-previously related to defence can be associated through this study with general or strain-specific recognition of Pseudomonas.