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© 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved. Precise cell-cycle control is critical for plant development and responses to pathogen invasion. Two homologous cyclindependent kinase inhibitor genes, SIAMESE (SIM) and SIM-RELATED 1 (SMR1), were recently shown to regulate Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) defense based on phenotypes conferred by a sim smr1 double mutant. However, whether these two genes play differential roles in cell-cycle and defense control is unknown. In this report, we show that while acting synergistically to promote endoreplication, SIM and SMR1 play different roles in affecting the ploidy of trichome and leaf cells, respectively. In addition, we found that the smr1-1 mutant, but not sim-1, was more susceptible to a virulent Pseudomonas syringae strain, and this susceptibility could be rescued by activating salicylic acid (SA)-mediated defense. Consistent with these results, smr1-1 partially suppressed the dwarfism, high SA levels, and cell death phenotypes in acd6-1, a mutant used to gauge the change of defense levels. Thus, SMR1 functions partly through SA in defense control. The differential roles of SIM and SMR1 are due to differences in temporal and spatial expression of these two genes in Arabidopsis tissues and in response to P. syringae infection. In addition, flow-cytometry analysis of plants with altered SA signaling revealed that SA is necessary, but not sufficient, to change cell-cycle progression. We further found that a mutant with three CYCD3 genes disrupted also compromised disease resistance to P. syringae. Together, this study reveals differential roles of two homologous cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in regulating cell-cycle progression and innate immunity in Arabidopsis and provides insights into the importance of cell-cycle control during host-pathogen interactions.

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Plant Physiology

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