Plant disease susceptibility conferred by a "resistance" gene.
The molecular nature of many plant disease resistance (R) genes is known; the largest class encodes nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins that are structurally related to proteins involved in innate immunity in animals. Few genes conferring disease susceptibility, on the other hand, have been identified. Recent identification of susceptibility to the fungus Cochliobolus victoriae in Arabidopsis thaliana has enabled our cloning of LOV1, a disease susceptibility gene that, paradoxically, is a member of the NBS-LRR resistance gene family. We found LOV1 mediates responses associated with defense, but mutations in known defense response pathways do not prevent susceptibility to C. victoriae. These findings demonstrate that NBS-LRR genes can condition disease susceptibility and resistance and may have implications for R gene deployment.