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While root diseases are among the most devastating stresses in global crop production, our understanding of root immunity is still limited relative to our knowledge of immune responses in leaves. Considering that root performance is based on the concerted functions of its different cell types, we undertook a cell type-specific transcriptome analysis to identify gene networks activated in epidermis, cortex, and pericycle cells of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) roots challenged with two immunity elicitors, the bacterial flagellin-derived flg22 and the endogenous Pep1 peptide. Our analyses revealed distinct immunity gene networks in each cell type. To further substantiate our understanding of regulatory patterns underlying these cell type-specific immunity networks, we developed a tool to analyze paired transcription factor binding motifs in the promoters of cell type-specific genes. Our study points toward a connection between cell identity and cell type-specific immunity networks that might guide cell types in launching immune response according to the functional capabilities of each cell type.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant Cell

Publication Date





2742 - 2762