NPR1: a target associated with disease resistance in plants

NPR1: a target associated with disease resistance in plants

Project No. 2058

Principal Investigator/Inventor: Dr. Charles Després, Department of Biological Sciences, Plant Proteomic and Molecular Pathology Laboratory

A method for the enhancement of the immune response in plants by the activation of the PR-1 gene.

Salicylic Acid is an essential hormone in Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR), the most agronomically relevant type of plant immunity. The Després research group discovered that the Arabidopsis NPR1 protein is the receptor for both salicylic acid and benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH), the active ingredient in Actigard™, a commercial product developed and sold by Syngenta to enhance plant immunity. Knowing the receptor for salicylic acid, there is an opportunity to develop less toxic and more efficient chemicals based on salicylic acid-NPR1 interaction. When validated in other plant species, this broad collection of NPR1 with varying affinity for salicylic acid will prove invaluable to enhance disease resistance in select plants by assisted breeding or GMO technology and for developing chemical screens to identify non-toxic small molecules capable of activating plant immunity.

Patent Status

Després, C. “Method of activating immune response in plants” US provisional application 61/657,461. June 8, 2012.


Wu, Y., et al., (2012) The Arabidopsis NPR1 protein is a receptor for the plant defense hormone salicylic acid. Cell Reports. 1: 639-47.


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