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  1. TIR domains are NAD-degrading enzymes that function during immune signaling in prokaryotes, plants, and animals. In plants, most TIR domains are incorporated into intracellular immune receptors termed TNLs. In Arabidopsis, TIR-derived small molecules bind and activate EDS1 heterodimers, which in turn activate RNLs, a class of cation channel–forming immune receptors. RNL activation drives cytoplasmic Ca 2+ influx, transcriptional reprogramming, pathogen resistance, and host cell death. We screened for mutants that suppress an RNL activation mimic allele and identified a TNL, SADR1. Despite being required for the function of an autoactivated RNL, SADR1 is not required for defense signaling triggered by other tested TNLs. SADR1 is required for defense signaling initiated by some transmembrane pattern recognition receptors and contributes to the unbridled spread of cell death in lesion simulating disease 1 . Together with RNLs, SADR1 regulates defense gene expression at infection site borders, likely in a non-cell autonomous manner. RNL mutants that cannot sustain this pattern of gene expression are unable to prevent disease spread beyond localized infection sites, suggesting that this pattern corresponds to a pathogen containment mechanism. SADR1 potentiates RNL-driven immune signaling not only through the activation of EDS1 but also partially independently of EDS1. We studied EDS1-independentmore »TIR function using nicotinamide, an NADase inhibitor. Nicotinamide decreased defense induction from transmembrane pattern recognition receptors and decreased calcium influx, pathogen growth restriction, and host cell death following intracellular immune receptor activation. We demonstrate that TIR domains can potentiate calcium influx and defense and are thus broadly required for Arabidopsis immunity.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 14, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Chemical signalling in the plant microbiome can have drastic effects on microbial community structure, and on host growth and development. Previously, we demonstrated that the auxin metabolic signal interference performed by the bacterial genusVariovoraxvia an auxin degradation locus was essential for maintaining stereotypic root development in an ecologically relevant bacterial synthetic community. Here, we dissect theVariovoraxauxin degradation locus to define the genesiadDEas necessary and sufficient for indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) degradation and signal interference. We determine the crystal structures and binding properties of the operon’s MarR-family repressor with IAA and other auxins. Auxin degradation operons were identified across the bacterial tree of life and we define two distinct types on the basis of gene content and metabolic products:iac-like andiad-like. The structures of MarRs from representatives of each auxin degradation operon type establish that each has distinct IAA-binding pockets. Comparison of representative IAA-degrading strains from diverse bacterial genera colonizingArabidopsisplants show that while all degrade IAA, only strains containingiad-like auxin-degrading operons interfere with auxin signalling in a complex synthetic community context. This suggests thatiad-like operon-containing bacterial strains, includingVariovoraxspecies, play a key ecological role in modulating auxins in the plant microbiome.

  3. Methodological advances over the past two decades have propelled plant microbiome research, allowing the field to comprehensively test ideas proposed over a century ago and generate many new hypotheses. Studying the distribution of microbial taxa and genes across plant habitats has revealed the importance of various ecological and evolutionary forces shaping plant microbiota. In particular, selection imposed by plant habitats strongly shapes the diversity and composition of microbiota and leads to microbial adaptation associated with navigating the plant immune system and utilizing plant-derived resources. Reductionist approaches have demonstrated that the interaction between plant immunity and the plant microbiome is, in fact, bidirectional and that plants, microbiota, and the environment shape a complex chemical dialogue that collectively orchestrates the plantmicrobiome. The next stage in plant microbiome research will require the integration of ecological and reductionist approaches to establish a general understanding of the assembly and function in both natural and managed environments.
  4. Fischer, Reinhard (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Glyphosate is a commonly used herbicide with a broad action spectrum. However, at sublethal doses, glyphosate can induce plant growth, a phenomenon known as hormesis. Most glyphosate hormesis studies have been performed under microbe-free or reduced-microbial-diversity conditions; only a few were performed in open systems or agricultural fields, which include a higher diversity of soil microorganisms. Here, we investigated how microbes affect the hormesis induced by low doses of glyphosate. To this end, we used Arabidopsis thaliana and a well-characterized synthetic bacterial community of 185 strains (SynCom) that mimics the root-associated microbiome of Arabidopsis . We found that a dose of 3.6 × 10 −6 g acid equivalent/liter (low dose of glyphosate, or LDG) produced an ∼14% increase in the shoot dry weight (i.e., hormesis) of uninoculated plants. Unexpectedly, in plants inoculated with the SynCom, LDG reduced shoot dry weight by ∼17%. We found that LDG enriched two Firmicutes and two Burkholderia strains in the roots. These specific strains are known to act as root growth inhibitors (RGI) in monoassociation assays. We tested the link between RGI and shoot dry weight reduction in LDG by assembling a new synthetic community lacking RGI strains. Dropping RGI strains out of the community restoredmore »growth induction by LDG. Finally, we showed that individual RGI strains from a few specific phyla were sufficient to switch the response to LDG from growth promotion to growth inhibition. Our results indicate that glyphosate hormesis was completely dependent on the root microbiome composition, specifically on the presence of root growth inhibitor strains. IMPORTANCE Since the introduction of glyphosate-resistant crops, glyphosate has become the most common and widely used herbicide around the world. Due to its intensive use and ability to bind to soil particles, it can be found at low concentrations in the environment. The effect of these remnants of glyphosate in plants has not been broadly studied; however, glyphosate 1,000 to 100,000 times less concentrated than the recommended field dose promoted growth in several species in laboratory and greenhouse experiments. However, this effect is rarely observed in agricultural fields, where complex communities of microbes have a central role in the way plants respond to external cues. Our study reveals how root-associated bacteria modulate the responses of Arabidopsis to low doses of glyphosate, shifting between growth promotion and growth inhibition.« less
  5. A widespread adaptive change in antiherbivore response is seen in a common plant species in urban environments across 160 cities.