A novel function for a redox-related LEA protein (SAG21/AtLEA5) in root development and biotic stress responses

Authors Organisations
  • Faezah Mohd Salleh(Author)
    Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Karly Evans(Author)
    Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Benjamin Goodall(Author)
    Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Helena Machin(Author)
    Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Shaheen B Mowla(Author)
    Rothamsted Research
  • Luis Mur(Author)
  • John Runions(Author)
    Oxford Brookes University
  • Frederica L Theodoulou(Author)
    Rothamsted Research
  • Christine H Foyer(Author)
    University of Leeds
  • Hilary J Rogers(Author)
    Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number2
Early online date04 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
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SAG21/AtLEA5 belongs to the late embryogenesis-associated (LEA) protein family. Although it has been implicated in growth and redox responses, its precise roles remain obscure. To address this problem, we characterized root and shoot development and response to biotic stress in SAG21/AtLEA5 over-expressor (OEX) and antisense (AS) lines. AS lines exhibited earlier flowering and senescence and reduced shoot biomass. Primary root length was reduced in AS lines, as was the number of laterals relative to the primary root. Root hair number was unchanged but root hair length was proportional to SAG21/AtLEA5 expression level, with longer root hairs in OEX lines and shorter root hairs in AS, relative to wild type. Growth of the fungal nectroph, Botrytis cinerea and of a virulent bacterial pathogen (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato) was affected by SAG21/AtLEA5 expression; however, growth of an avirulent P.syringae strain was unaffected. A SAG21/AtLEA5-YFP fusion was localized to mitochondria, raising the intriguing possibility that SAG21 interacts with proteins involved in mitochondrial ROS signalling, which in turn, impacts on root development and pathogen responses.


  • Arabidopsis, disease, LEA proteins, mitochondria, redox signalling, ROS, root hair, senescence