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Direct recognition of pathogen effectors by plant NLR immune receptors and downstream signalling

Jian Chen, Xiaoxiao Zhang, John P. Rathjen,
Published: 22 June 2022

Abstract: Plants deploy extracellular and intracellular immune receptors to sense and restrict pathogen attacks. Rapidly evolving pathogen effectors play crucial roles in suppressing plant immunity but are also monitored by intracellular nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat immune receptors (NLRs), leading to effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Here, we review how NLRs recognize effectors with a focus on direct interactions and summarize recent research findings on the signalling functions of NLRs. Coiled-coil (CC)-type NLR proteins execute immune responses by oligomerizing to form membrane-penetrating ion channels after effector recognition. Some CC-NLRs function in sensor–helper networks with the sensor NLR triggering oligomerization of the helper NLR. Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-type NLR proteins possess catalytic activities that are activated upon effector recognition-induced oligomerization. Small molecules produced by TIR activity are detected by additional signalling partners of the EDS1 lipase-like family (enhanced disease susceptibility 1), leading to activation of helper NLRs that trigger the defense response.
Keywords: effector / immune receptor / signalling

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