- •Potato (Solanum tuberosum) calcium-dependent protein kinase (StCDPK5) has been shown to phosphorylate the N-terminal region of plasma membrane RBOH (respiratory burst oxidase homolog) proteins, and participate in StRBOHB-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst. The constitutively active form, StCDPK5VK, provides a useful tool for gain-of-function analysis of RBOH in defense responses.
- •StCDPK5- and StCDPK5VK-green fluorescent protein fusion proteins were predominantly targeted to the plasma membrane, and conditional expression of StCDPK5VK activated StRBOHA-D. The interaction was confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay. We generated transgenic potato plants containing StCDPK5VK under the control of a pathogen-inducible promoter to investigate the role of ROS burst on defense responses to blight pathogens.
- •Virulent isolates of the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans and the early blight pathogen Alternaria solani induced hypersensitive response-like cell death accompanied by ROS production at the infection sites of transgenic plants. Transgenic plants showed resistance to the near-obligate hemibiotrophic pathogen P. infestans and, by contrast, increased susceptibility to the necrotrophic pathogen A. solani.
- •These results indicate that RBOH-dependent ROS contribute to basal defense against near-obligate pathogens, but have a negative role in resistance or have a positive role in expansion of disease lesions caused by necrotrophic pathogens.