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A Barley ROP GTPase ACTIVATING PROTEIN Associates with Microtubules and Regulates Entry of the Barley Powdery Mildew Fungus into Leaf Epidermal Cells

Hoefle, Caroline, Huesmann, Christina, Schultheiss, Holger, Börnke, Frederik, Hensel, Götz, Kumlehn, Jochen, Hückelhoven, Ralph
The plant cell 2011 v.23 no.6 pp. 2422-2439
Erysiphe graminis, G-proteins, GTPase-activating proteins, Hordeum vulgare, barley, disease resistance, guanosinetriphosphatase, leaves, microtubules, plant pathogenic fungi, powdery mildew, root hairs, transgenic plants, yeasts
Little is known about the function of host factors involved in disease susceptibility. The barley (Hordeum vulgare) ROP (RHO of plants) G-protein RACB is required for full susceptibility of the leaf epidermis to invasion by the biotrophic fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp hordei. Stable transgenic knockdown of RACB reduced the ability of barley to accommodate haustoria of B. graminis in intact epidermal leaf cells and to form hairs on the root epidermis, suggesting that RACB is a common element of root hair outgrowth and ingrowth of haustoria in leaf epidermal cells. We further identified a barley MICROTUBULE-ASSOCIATED ROP-GTPASE ACTIVATING PROTEIN (MAGAP1) interacting with RACB in yeast and in planta. Fluorescent MAGAP1 decorated cortical microtubules and was recruited by activated RACB to the cell periphery. Under fungal attack, MAGAP1-labeled microtubules built a polarized network at sites of successful defense. By contrast, microtubules loosened where the fungus succeeded in penetration. Genetic evidence suggests a function of MAGAP1 in limiting susceptibility to penetration by B. graminis. Additionally, MAGAP1 influenced the polar organization of cortical microtubules. These results add to our understanding of how intact plant cells accommodate fungal infection structures and suggest that RACB and MAGAP1 might be antagonistic players in cytoskeleton organization for fungal entry.