J Integr Plant Biol.

• Research Article •    

A Nicotiana benthamiana receptor-like kinase regulates Phytophthora resistance by coupling with BAK1 to enhance elicitin-triggered immunity

Yifan Zhang1†, Zhiyuan Yin1,2†, Lei Pi1, Nan Wang1,3, Jinghao Wang1, Hao Peng4 and Daolong Dou1,2*   

  1. 1. College of Plant Protection, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China;
    2. College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China;
    3. Institute of Plant Protection, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China;
    4. Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Daolong Dou (ddou@njau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-07-15 Accepted:2023-01-19 Online:2023-02-24

Abstract: Cell-surface-localized leucine-rich-repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) are crucial for plant immunity. Most LRR-RLKs that act as receptors directly recognize ligands via a large extracellular domain (ECD), whereas LRR-RLK that serve as regulators are relatively small and contain fewer LRRs. Here, we identified LRR-RLK regulators using high-throughput tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based gene silencing in the model plant Nicotiana benthamiana. We used the cell-death phenotype caused by INF1, an oomycete elicitin that induces pattern-triggered immunity, as an indicator. By screening 33 small LRR-RLKs (≤6 LRRs) of unknown function, we identified ELICITIN INSENSITIVE RLK 1 (NbEIR1) as a positive regulator of INF1-induced immunity and oomycete resistance. Nicotiana benthamiana mutants of eir1 generated by CRISPR/Cas9-editing showed significantly compromised immune responses to INF1 and were more vulnerable to the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici. NbEIR1 associates with BRI1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (NbBAK1) and a downstream component, BRASSINOSTEROID-SIGNALING KINASE 1 (NbBSK1). NbBSK1 also contributes to INF1-induced defense and P. capsici resistance. Upon INF1 treatment, NbEIR1 was released from NbBAK1 and NbBSK1 in vivo. Moreover, the silencing of NbBSK1 compromised the association of NbEIR1 with NbBAK1. We also showed that NbEIR1 regulates flg22-induced immunity and associates with its receptor, FLAGELLIN SENSING 2 (NbFLS2). Collectively, our results suggest that NbEIR1 is a novel regulatory element for BAK1-dependent immunity. NbBSK1-NbEIR1 association is required for maintaining the NbEIR1/NbBAK1 complex in the resting state.

Key words: BAK1, BSK1, INF1, leucine-rich repeat (LRR), LRR-RLK, Oomycete

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