The necrotrophic white mold fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (S. sclerotiorum) is pathogenic to a broad range of plant species, including the Brassicaceae model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Boland and Hall, 1994; Bolton et al., 2006). In Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana), the semi-purified proteinaceous S. sclerotinorum elicitor SCFE1 (Sclerotinia culture filtrate elicitor 1) is sensed at the plasma membrane by the receptor-like protein RLP30 and triggers strong immune responses (Zhang et al., 2013), similar to the bacterial elicitor flagellin (Felix et al., 1999). Elicitation of plant defenses with SCFE1 is a tool to dissect the signaling pathway involving RLP30 and to study immunity to necrotrophic fungi. Here, we describe a simple protocol to axenically grow S. sclerotiorum. Further, we present a two-step liquid chromatography-based method for the partial purification of SCFE1 from culture filtrate (Figure 1A-B). Measurement by gas chromatography of the emission of the plant stress hormone ethylene is proposed as a bioassay to monitor elicitor activity in the fractions throughout the purification procedure (Figure 1C).
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