We propose a model for activation of the epidermal cell hypersensitive response (HR) in the barley/powdery mildew interaction. The model suggests that the plasma membrane proton pump (H+-ATPase) of epidermal cells is activated following penetration by an avirulent powdery mildew fungus. This will cause an acidification of the apoplast towards the mesophyll cells, thereby activating generation of H2O2 from the mesophyll, which subsequently triggers the epidermal cell to undergo HR. The model is supported by the following data: (1) the earliest HR-related H2O2 is found in the attachment zones between the epidermal cell and underlying mesophyll cells; (2) scavenger treatment reduces HR; (3) treatment of leaves with low-pH (3.5) citrate and succinate buffers causes more cells to undergo HR in the compatible interaction, while treatment with the same buffers at pH 5.5 reduces the number of HR-cells in the incompatible interaction; (4) race-specific proton extrusion is observed underneath epidermal tissue detached from leaves inoculated 15 h earlier; and (5) treatment of leaves with fusicoccin, an activator of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase, increases the number of HR-cells in the compatible interaction.
Zhou, F. S., Andersen, C. H., Burhenne, K., Fischer, P. H., Collinge, D. B., & Thordal-Christensen, H. (2000). Proton extrusion is an essential signalling component in the HR of epidermal single cells in the barley-powdery mildew interaction. Plant Journal, 23(2), 245-254. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-313x.2000.00777.x