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Alternaric acid stimulates phosphorylation of His-tagged RiCDPK2, a calcium-dependent protein kinase in potato plants

Author(s): A. Hassan, T. Okuta, M. Kato, N. Hatsugai, Y. Sano, T. Ishimori, K. Okazaki, M.A. Doullah and M.M. Shah

Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPK) are an essential component of plant defense mechanisms against pathogens. We investigated the effect of alternaric acid, a host-specific toxin produced by the plant fungal pathogen Alternaria solani (Pleosporaceae), on a putative plasma membrane and cytosolic kinase RiCDPK2 of potato (Solanum tuberosum) and on hypersensitive cell death of host potato cells. Alternaric acid, in the presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+, stimulated in vitro phosphorylation of His-tagged RiCDPK2, a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase found in potato plants. We concluded that Ca2+ and Mg2+ play an important role in the interaction between alternaric acid and RiCDPK2. Based on our observations, alternaric acid regulates RiCDPK2 kinase during the infection process in an interaction between host and A. solani, leading to the inhibition of hypersensitive cell death in the host. We suggest that alternaric acid is a primary determinantby which A. solani stimulates CDPK activity in the host, suppressing hypersensitive cell death.