Differentiation between MAMP Triggered Defenses in Arabidopsis thaliana

Madlen Vetter, Talia L. Karasov, Joy Bergelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A first line of defense against pathogen attack for both plants and animals involves the detection of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), followed by the induction of a complex immune response. Plants, like animals, encode several receptors that recognize different MAMPs. While these receptors are thought to function largely redundantly, the physiological responses to different MAMPs can differ in detail. Responses to MAMP exposure evolve quantitatively in natural populations of Arabidopsis thaliana, perhaps in response to environment specific differences in microbial threat. Here, we sought to determine the extent to which the detection of two canonical MAMPs were evolving redundantly or distinctly within natural populations. Our results reveal negligible correlation in plant growth responses between the bacterial MAMPs EF-Tu and flagellin. Further investigation of the genetic bases of differences in seedling growth inhibition and validation of 11 candidate genes reveal substantial differences in the genetic loci that underlie variation in response to these two MAMPs. Our results indicate that natural variation in MAMP recognition is largely MAMP-specific, indicating an ability to differentially tailor responses to EF-Tu and flagellin in A. thaliana populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006068
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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