A rhizosphere fungus enhances Arabidopsis thermotolerance through production of an HSP90 inhibitor

Catherine A. McLellan, Thomas J. Turbyville, E. M.Kithsiri Wijeratne, Arthur Kerschen, Elizabeth Vierling, Christine Queitsch, Luke Whitesell, A. A.Leslie Gunatilaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The molecular chaperone HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN90 (HSP90) is essential for the maturation of key regulatory proteins in eukaryotes and for the response to temperature stress. Earlier, we have reported that fungi living in association with plants of the Sonoran desert produce small molecule inhibitors of mammalian HSP90. Here, we address whether elaboration of the HSP90 inhibitor monocillin I (MON) by the rhizosphere fungus Paraphaeosphaeria quadriseptata affects plant HSP90 and plant environmental responsiveness. We demonstrate that MON binds Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) HSP90 and can inhibit the function of HSP90 in lysates of wheat (Triticum aestivum) germ. MON treatment of Arabidopsis seedlings induced HSP101 and HSP70, conserved components of the stress response. Application of MON, or growth in the presence of MON, allowed Arabidopsis wild type but not AtHSP101 knockout mutant seedlings to survive otherwise lethal temperature stress. Finally, cocultivation of P. quadriseptata with Arabidopsis enhanced plant heat stress tolerance. These data demonstrate that HSP90-inhibitory compounds produced by fungi can influence plant growth and responses to the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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