ERF19 buffers Arabidopsis pattern-triggered immunity (J Exp Bot)

To fight off invading pathogens, higher plants such as Arabidopsis are intrinsically programmed with a subset of defense responses known as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). However, excessive defense responses may hamper plant’s normal growth, so fine-tuning PTI is important for plant survival. Recently, Pin-Yao et al. report that a member of the ethylene response factor called ERF19 can negatively regulate PTI of Arabidopsis. Overexpression EFR19 or disruption of ERF19’s function leads to weakened and enhanced plant resistance to pathogens, respectively. In addition, they found the function of ERF19 is negatively controlled by a transcriptional co-repressor Novel Interactor of JAZ (NINJA). This study shows that plants have evolved with a sophisticated defense mechanism to modulate the balance between growth and immunity when maximizing their chance of survival. (Summarized by Nanxun Qin) J. Exp. Bot 10.1093/jxb/ery414