J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2016, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (4): 284-298.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12426

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Protein trafficking during plant innate immunity

Wen-Ming Wang1*, Peng-Qiang Liu1, Yong-Ju Xu1 and Shun-Yuan Xiao2*   

  1. 1Rice Research Institute & Key Laboratory for Major Crop Diseases, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China
    2Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research & Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, Rockville, MD, USA


Plants have evolved a sophisticated immune system to fight against pathogenic microbes. Upon detection of pathogen invasion by immune receptors, the immune system is turned on, resulting in production of antimicrobial molecules including pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. Conceivably, an efficient immune response depends on the capacity of the plant cell's protein/membrane trafficking network to deploy the right defense-associated molecules in the right place at the right time. Recent research in this area shows that while the abundance of cell surface immune receptors is regulated by endocytosis, many intracellular immune receptors, when activated, are partitioned between the cytoplasm and the nucleus for induction of defense genes and activation of programmed cell death, respectively. Vesicle transport is an essential process for secretion of PR proteins to the apoplastic space and targeting of defense-related proteins to the plasma membrane or other endomembrane compartments. In this review, we discuss the various aspects of protein trafficking during plant immunity, with a focus on the immunity proteins on the move and the major components of the trafficking machineries engaged.

Key words: Endocytic trafficking, nucleocytoplasmic partitioning, programmed cell death, small GTPase, SNARE, vesicle transport

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