Perception of general elicitors by plant cells initiates signal transduction cascades that are regulated by protein phosphorylation. The earliest signaling events occur within minutes and include ion fluxes across the plasma membrane, activation of MAPKs, and the formation of reactive oxygen species. The phosphorylation events that regulate these signaling cascades are largely unknown. Here we present a mass spectrometry-based quantitative phosphoproteomics approach that identified differentially phosphorylated sites in signaling and response proteins from Arabidopsis cells treated with either flg22 or xylanase. Our approach was sensitive enough to quantitate phosphorylation on low abundance signaling proteins such as calcium-dependent protein kinases and receptorlike kinase family members. With this approach we identified one or more differentially phosphorylated sites in 76 membrane-associated proteins including a number of defense-related proteins. Our data on phosphorylation indicate a high degree of complexity at the level of posttranslational modification as exemplified by the complex modification patterns of respiratory burst oxidase protein D. Furthermore the data also suggest that protein translocation and vesicle traffic are important aspects of early signaling and defense in response to general elicitors. Our study presents the largest quantitative Arabidopsis phosphoproteomics data set to date and provides a new resource that can be used to gain novel insight into plant defense signal transduction and early defense response
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