AbstractBACKGROUND:Plants are exposed to diverse pathogens and pests, yet most plants are resistant to most plant pathogens. Non-host resistance describes the ability of all members of a plant species to successfully prevent colonization by any given member of a pathogen species. White blister rust caused by Albugo species can overcome non-host resistance and enable secondary infection and reproduction of usually non-virulent pathogens, including the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans on Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the molecular basis of host defense suppression in this complex plant-microbe interaction is unclear. Here, we investigate specific defense mechanisms in Arabidopsis that are suppressed by Albugo infection.RESULTS:Gene expression profiling revealed that two species of Albugo upregulate genes associated with tryptophan-derived antimicrobial metabolites in Arabidopsis. Albugo laibachii-infected tissue has altered levels of these metabolites, with lower indol-3-yl methylglucosinolate and higher camalexin accumulation than uninfected tissue. We investigated the contribution of these Albugo-imposed phenotypes to suppression of non-host resistance to P. infestans. Absence of tryptophan-derived antimicrobial compounds enables P. infestans colonization of Arabidopsis, although to a lesser extent than Albugo-infected tissue. A. laibachii also suppresses a subset of genes regulated by salicylic acid; however, salicylic acid plays only a minor role in non-host resistance to P. infestans.CONCLUSIONS:Albugo sp. alter tryptophan-derived metabolites and suppress elements of the responses to salicylic acid in Arabidopsis. Albugo sp. imposed alterations in tryptophan-derived metabolites may play a role in Arabidopsis non-host resistance to P. infestans. Understanding the basis of non-host resistance to pathogens such as P. infestans could assist in development of strategies to elevate food security.