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1. (WO2013093637) PLANT TREATMENT METHODS AND MEANS THEREFOR
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CLAIMS

1 . An isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising a nucleotide sequence comprising at least two amino acid sequences chosen from among amino acid sequences having at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 4, at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 5, and at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 6; or

chosen from among amino acid sequences having at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 7, at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 8, and at least 60% identity with SEQ ID NO. 9;

wherein SEQ ID NO. 4 and SEQ ID NO. 7 encode phytoalexin deficient 4 (PAD4) protein in a plant; SEQ ID NO. 5 and SEQ ID NO. 8 encode lesion simulating disease 1 (LSD1 ) protein in a plant; and SEQ ID NO. 6 and SEQ ID NO. 9 encode enhanced disease susceptibility 1 (EDS1 ) protein in a plant.

2. The isolated nucleic acid molecule of claim 1 , wherein the nucleotide sequence comprises at least two amino acid sequences chosen from the among amino acid sequences SEQ ID NO. 4, SEQ ID NO. 5, and SEQ ID NO. 6; or

chosen from among amino acid sequences of SEQ ID NO. 7, SEQ ID NO. 8, and SEQ ID NO. 9.

3. An allelic variant or a homolog of the nucleotide sequence of claim 1 or 2.

4. A DNA fragment according to any one of claims 1 -3, wherein one or more functional characteristics of the protein are retained.

5. A vector construct comprising the isolated nucleic acid molecule according to any one of claims 1 -4, operably linked to an expression control sequence.

6. A host cell comprising the isolated nucleic acid molecule according to any one of claims 1 -4, wherein the nucleotide sequence is flanked by exogenous sequence.

7. A host cell comprising the vector construct of claim 5 or a progeny of the cell, wherein the cell is operably linked to an expression control sequence and expresses the polypeptide.

8. A plant, plant material, plant cell, or a seed of a plant, which comprises the isolated nucleic acid molecule according to any one of claims 1 -4, wherein the nucleotide sequence is exogenous or heterologous to the plant or the plant cell.

9. A plant, plant material, plant cell, or a seed of a plant, which further comprises the host cell of claim 6 or 7.

10. A plant regenerated from a plant cell or seed according to claim 8 or 9.

1 1 . A method of regulating growth and increasing biomass production in a plant comprising:

over expressing at least two of phytoalexin deficient 4 (PAD4) gene, lesion simulating disease 1 (LSDI ) gene, and enhanced disease susceptibility 1 (EDS1 ) gene in the plant, according to claim 1 , wherein the overexpression step further comprises:

contacting the genome of the plant with an expression cassette comprising an isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising the nucleotide sequence encoding at least two of PAD4, LSD1 , and EDS1 proteins, wherein the nucleotide sequence is operably linked to an expression control sequence that is functional in plants under conditions that permit integration of the expression cassette into the genome of the plant;

integrating the expression cassette into the genome of the plant; and overexpressing the nucleotide sequence in the plant.

12. A method of regulating growth and increasing biomass production in a plant comprising:

attenuating the expression of at least two of phytoalexin deficient 4 (PAD4) gene, lesion simulating disease 1 (LSD1 ) gene, and enhanced disease susceptibility 1 (EDS1 ) gene in the plant according to claim 1 , wherein the attenuating step further comprises:

contacting the genome of the plant with an expression cassette comprising an isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising a nucleotide sequence encoding at least two of PAD4, LSD1 , and EDS1 proteins, wherein the nucleotide sequence is operably linked to an expression control sequence that is functional in plants under conditions that permit integration of the expression cassette into the genome of the plant;

integrating the expression cassette into the genome of the plant; and attenuating the expression of the nucleotide sequence in the plant.

13. The method according to claim 1 1 or 12, wherein an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 1 or SEQ ID NO. 10 encodes PAD4 protein; an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 2 or SEQ ID NO. 1 1 encodes LSD1 protein; and an amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO. 3 or SEQ ID NO. 12 encodes EDS1 protein.

14. The method according to claim 1 1 or 12 comprising a nucleotide sequence at least 60% identical to the nucleotide sequence of claim 1 .

15. A transgenic plant having a gene construct comprising a nucleotide sequence encoding at least two of PAD4, LSD1 , and EDS1 proteins, operably linked to a promoter such that the nucleotide sequence is overexpressed or attenuated, thereby causing the transgenic plant to exhibit one or more of:

increased biomass;

increased stress tolerance;

efficient growth development;

changes in tissue density, modified cell division to programmed cell death ratio;

greater fruit or seed yield;

changes in chemical composition, physical, mechanical, and technological properties;

efficient use of water; and

early appearance of fruit or seed

than a non-transgenic plant that does not overexpress or attenuate at least two of PAD4, LSD1 , and EDS1 genes, when the transgenic plant and the non-transgenic plant are cultivated under identical growth conditions and identical stress conditions.

16. The transgenic plant of claim 15, wherein the transgenic plant is an annual plant or a perennial plant, wherein the annual plant is selected from a group

consisting of Arabidopsis, lettuce, tobacco, soybeans, potato, tomato, canola, rice, corn, and wheat.

17. The transgenic plant of claim 16 wherein the perennial plant is a woody plant.

18. The transgenic plant of claim 17 wherein the woody plant is a hardwood plant.

19. The transgenic plant of claim 18 wherein the hardwood plant is selected from the group consisting of acacia, eucalyptus, hornbeam, beech, mahogany, walnut, oak, ash, willow, hickory, birch, chestnut, poplar, alder, maple, and sycamore.

20. The transgenic plant of claim 18 wherein the hardwood plant is a plant of the Populus or Salicaceae groups.