Plants produce numerous calmodulin isoforms that exhibit differential gene expression patterns and sense different Ca2+ signals. This diversity results in different physiological responses to particular stimuli. Gm-CaM-4 and -5 are two divergent calmodulin isoforms from the soybean (Glycine max) that have been reported to be involved in plant disease resistance. However, little is known about the pathway by which these specific isoforms transduce the defense signal and up-regulate pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. Here we report that overexpression of GmCaM-4/-5 induces constitutive PR gene expression and enhances disease resistance in wild-type Arabidopsis, but not in the nim1 mutant of Arabidopsis. GmCaM-4/-5 also appear to activate trans-acting elements that bind to cis-acting elements in the Arabidopsis PR-1 promoter. Thus up-regulation of PR genes by these GmCaM isoforms is dependent on NIM1 (Non immunity 1) and unknown transcription factors.
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