Activation tagging of ATHB13 in Arabidopsis thaliana confers broad-spectrum disease resistance

D. Gao, R.P. Huibers, X. Chen, A.E.H.M. Loonen, R.G.F. Visser, A.M.A. Wolters, Y. Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Powdery mildew species Oidium neolycopersici (On) can cause serious yield losses in tomato production worldwide. Besides on tomato, On is able to grow and reproduce on Arabidopsis. In this study we screened a collection of activation-tagged Arabidopsis mutants and identified one mutant, 3221, which displayed resistance to On, and in addition showed a reduced stature and serrated leaves. Additional disease tests demonstrated that the 3221 mutant exhibited resistance to downy mildew (Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis) and green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), but retained susceptibility to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. The resistance trait and morphological alteration were mutually linked in 3221. Identification of the activation tag insertion site and microarray analysis revealed that ATHB13, a homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) transcription factor, was constitutively overexpressed in 3221. Silencing of ATHB13 in 3221 resulted in the loss of both the morphological alteration and resistance, whereas overexpression of the cloned ATHB13 in Col-0 and Col-eds1-2 backgrounds resulted in morphological alteration and resistance. Microarray analysis further revealed that overexpression of ATHB13 influenced the expression of a large number of genes. Previously, it was reported that ATHB13-overexpressing lines conferred tolerance to abiotic stress. Together with our results, it appears that ATHB13 is involved in the crosstalk between abiotic and biotic stress resistance pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-653
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • vegetative storage protein
  • powdery mildew resistance
  • transcription factors hahb1
  • nudix hydrolase
  • salicylic-acid
  • plant defense
  • cell-death
  • hd-zip
  • oidium-neolycopersici
  • expression patterns


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