Immune responses of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) are at least partially mediated by coordinated transcriptional up-regulation of plant defense genes, such as the Late/sustained Up-regulation in Response to Hyaloperonospora parasitica (LURP) cluster. We found a defined region in the promoter of the LURP member CaBP22 to be important for this response. Using a CaBP22 promoter-reporter fusion, we have established a robust and specific high-throughput screening system for synthetic defense elicitors that can be used to trigger defined subsets of plant immune responses. Screening a collection of 42,000 diversity-oriented molecules, we identified 114 candidate LURP inducers. One representative, 3,5-dichloroanthranilic acid (DCA), efficiently induced defense reactions to the phytopathogens H. parasitica and Pseudomonas syringae. In contrast to known salicylic acid analogs, such as 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (INA), which exhibit a long-lasting defense-inducing activity and are fully dependent on the transcriptional cofactor NPR1 (for Nonexpresser of Pathogenesis-Related genes1), DCA acts transiently and is only partially dependent on NPR1. Microarray analyses revealed a cluster of 142 DCA- and INA-responsive genes that show a pattern of differential expression coinciding with the kinetics of DCA-mediated disease resistance. These ACID genes (for Associated with Chemically Induced Defense) constitute a core gene set associated with chemically induced disease resistance, many of which appear to encode components of the natural immune system of Arabidopsis
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