Perception of the bacterial PAMP EF-Tu by the receptor EFR restricts Agrobacterium-mediated transformation

Cyril Zipfel, Gernot Kunze, Delphine Chinchilla, Anne Caniard, Jonathan D G Jones, Thomas Boller, Georg Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1411 Citations (Scopus)


Higher eukaryotes sense microbes through the perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Arabidopsis plants detect a variety of PAMPs including conserved domains of bacterial flagellin and of bacterial EF-Tu. Here, we show that flagellin and EF-Tu activate a common set of signaling events and defense responses but without clear synergistic effects. Treatment with either PAMP results in increased binding sites for both PAMPs. We used this finding in a targeted reverse-genetic approach to identify a receptor kinase essential for EF-Tu perception, which we called EFR. Nicotiana benthamiana, a plant unable to perceive EF-Tu, acquires EF-Tu binding sites and responsiveness upon transient expression of EFR. Arabidopsis efr mutants show enhanced susceptibility to the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, as revealed by a higher efficiency of T-DNA transformation. These results demonstrate that EFR is the EF-Tu receptor and that plant defense responses induced by PAMPs such as EF-Tu reduce transformation by Agrobacterium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-60
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2006


  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Binding Sites
  • Flagellin
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Peptide Elongation Factor Tu
  • Protein Kinases
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tobacco
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transformation, Genetic

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