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Project: A 'DELLAcate' affair: unlocking the secrets of gibberellic acid- and DELLA- mediated plant immunity

project duration
01/01/12 – 31/12/15
abstract
Recent advances in plant hormone research have provided fascinating insights into how the plant hormone gibberellin (GA) is perceived and its signal transduced to modulate numerous plant growth and developmental processes. Current concepts suggest that GA promotes plant growth by affecting a class of nuclear growth-repressing proteins, called DELLAs. GA signaling relieves the repression exerted through DELLAs by targeting their degradation through a well-studied ubiquitin-proteasome mediated process. In contrast, our understanding of the role of GA and DELLAs in plant immunity is still limited. Although it is believed that DELLAs may act as central nodes in the plant’s defense signaling network, little is known about how these proteins shape the outcome of plant-pathogen interactions. The work outlined in this project aims to advance our understanding of the role of GA and the DELLA suppressor SLR1 in the defense response of rice towards the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Specific objectives are 1) to clarify the role of GA metabolism in rice immunity, 2) to identify and functionally characterize SLR1 downstream targets, and 3) to shed light on the nature, subcellular localization and dynamics of SLR1 protein complexes upon defense elicitation. A multidisciplinary approach will be pursued to achieve these goals.