Selective mRNA Translation during the Plant Immune Response

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2020

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Abstract

The ability to rapidly alter gene expression is essential to surviving fluctuating environments. The disjunction between mRNA abundance and mRNA translation is of particular interest in stress responses that elicit large scale gene expression reprogramming. Targeted changes in the translation efficiency of select mRNA, within the standing pool of total mRNA, allow for rapid alterations in the proteome upon environmental cue. Here, I discover large changes in the translational landscape that are independent from the underlying transcriptional dynamics during the early stages of PAMP-Triggered Immunity (PTI) and a coordinated translational response during the later stage Effector-Triggered Immunity (ETI). Certain mRNAs borne features, such as mRNA methylation and uAUGs, which initiate uORFs, that are known to affect mRNA stability and translation activity, yet little is known about how these elements affect mRNA translation during infection stress. Through observations of translation dynamics, I investigated the impact of known and novel mRNA features on local immunity. In addition, I discovered additional facets of the plant immune response including a novel mRNA sequence consensus, which I call the R-motif that induces mRNA translation upon pathogen detection.

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Greene, George H (2020). Selective mRNA Translation during the Plant Immune Response. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20975.

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