The Arabidopsis Pleiotropic Drug Resistance Transporters PEN3 and PDR12 Mediate Camalexin Secretion for Resistance to Botrytis cinerea

Plant defense often depends on the synthesis and targeted delivery of antimicrobial metabolites at pathogen contact sites. The pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR) transporter PENETRATION3 (PEN3)/PDR8 in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) has been implicated in resistance to a variety of fungal pathogens. However, the antimicrobial metabolite(s) transported by PEN3 for extracellular defense remains unidentified. Here, we report that PEN3 functions redundantly with another PDR transporter (PDR12) to mediate the secretion of camalexin, the major phytoalexin in Arabidopsis. Consistent with this, the pen3 pdr12 double mutants exhibit dramatically enhanced susceptibility to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea as well as severe hypersensitivity to exogenous camalexin. PEN3 and PDR12 are transcriptionally activated upon B. cinerea infection, and their expression is regulated by the mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MPK3) and MPK6, and their downstream WRKY33 transcription factor. Further genetic analysis indicated that PEN3 and PDR12 contribute to B. cinerea resistance through exporting not only camalexin but also other unidentified metabolite(s) derived from Trp metabolism, suggesting that PEN3 and PDR12 have multiple functions in Arabidopsis immunity via transport of distinct Trp metabolic products.

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