Parsley cells recognize the fungal plant pathogen Phytophthora sojae through a plasma membrane receptor. A pathogen-derived oligopeptide elicitor binds to this receptor and thereby stimulates a multicomponent defense response through sequential activation of ion channels and an oxidative burst. An elicitor-responsive mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase was identified that acts downstream of the ion channels but independently or upstream of the oxidative burst. Upon receptor-mediated activation the MAP kinase is translocated to the nucleus where it might interact with transcription factors that induce expression of defense genes.
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