The phylogenetically-related pattern recognition receptors EFR and XA21 recruit similar immune signaling components in monocots and dicots

Nicholas Holton, Vladimir Nekrasov, Pamela C Ronald, Cyril Zipfel

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During plant immunity, surface-localized pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). The transfer of PRRs between plant species is a promising strategy for engineering broad-spectrum disease resistance. Thus, there is a great interest in understanding the mechanisms of PRR-mediated resistance across different plant species. Two well-characterized plant PRRs are the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) EFR and XA21 from Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and rice, respectively. Interestingly, despite being evolutionary distant, EFR and XA21 are phylogenetically closely related and are both members of the sub-family XII of LRR-RKs that contains numerous potential PRRs. Here, we compared the ability of these related PRRs to engage immune signaling across the monocots-dicots taxonomic divide. Using chimera between Arabidopsis EFR and rice XA21, we show that the kinase domain of the rice XA21 is functional in triggering elf18-induced signaling and quantitative immunity to the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pto) DC3000 and Agrobacterium tumefaciens in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, the EFR:XA21 chimera associates dynamically in a ligand-dependent manner with known components of the EFR complex. Conversely, EFR associates with Arabidopsis orthologues of rice XA21-interacting proteins, which appear to be involved in EFR-mediated signaling and immunity in Arabidopsis. Our work indicates the overall functional conservation of immune components acting downstream of distinct LRR-RK-type PRRs between monocots and dicots.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1004602
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2015


  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Oryza
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Diseases
  • Plant Immunity
  • Plant Proteins
  • Genetically Modified Plants
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Pseudomonas syringae
  • Pattern Recognition Receptors
  • Signal Transduction

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