Linker histone H1 modulates defense priming and immunity in plants

by Arsheed H. Sheikh, Kashif Nawaz, Naheed Tabassum, Marilia Almeida-Trapp, Kiruthiga G. Mariappan, Hanna Alhoraibi, Naganand Rayapuram, Manuel Aranda, Martin Groth, Heribert Hirt
Journal Year: 2023 DOI:


Arsheed H Sheikh and others, Linker histone H1 modulates defense priming and immunity in plants, Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 51, Issue 9, 22 May 2023, Pages 4252–4265,


Linker H1 histones play an important role in animal and human pathogenesis, but their function in plant immunity is poorly understood. Here, we analyzed mutants of the three canonical variants of Arabidopsis H1 histones, namely H1.1, H1.2 and H1.3. We observed that double h1.1h1.2 and triple h1.1h1.2h1.3 (3h1) mutants were resistant to Pseudomonas syringae and Botrytis cinerea infections. Transcriptome analysis of 3h1 mutant plants showed H1s play a key role in regulating the expression of early and late defense genes upon pathogen challenge. Moreover, 3h1 mutant plants showed enhanced production of reactive oxygen species and activation of mitogen activated protein kinases upon pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) treatment. However, 3h1 mutant plants were insensitive to priming with flg22, a well-known bacterial PAMP which induces enhanced resistance in WT plants. The defective defense response in 3h1 upon priming was correlated with altered DNA methylation and reduced global H3K56ac levels. Our data place H1 as a molecular gatekeeper in governing dynamic changes in the chromatin landscape of defense genes during plant pathogen interaction.


gene regulation epigenetics Transcriptomics histone