An N-terminal motif in NLR immune receptors is functionally conserved across distantly related plant species
The molecular codes underpinning the functions of plant NLR immune receptors are poorly understood. We used in vitro Mu transposition to generate a random truncation library and identify the minimal functional region of NLRs. We applied this method to NRC4—a helper NLR that functions with multiple sensor NLRs within a Solanaceae receptor network. This revealed that the NRC4 N-terminal 29 amino acids are sufficient to induce hypersensitive cell death. This region is defined by the consensus MADAxVSFxVxKLxxLLxxEx (MADA motif) that is conserved at the N-termini of NRC family proteins and ~20% of coiled-coil (CC)-type plant NLRs. The MADA motif matches the N-terminal a1 helix of Arabidopsis NLR protein ZAR1, which undergoes a conformational switch during resistosome activation. Immunoassays revealed that the MADA motif is functionally conserved across NLRs from distantly related plant species. NRC-dependent sensor NLRs lack MADA sequences indicating that this motif has degenerated in sensor NLRs over evolutionary time.
All sequence data used for bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses are included in the manuscript and supporting files
The Sol Genomics Network (SGN)--from genotype to phenotype to breedingTomato ITAG release 2.40 and N. benthamiana Genome v0.4.4.
Article and author information
Gatsby Charitable Foundation
- Sophien Kamoun
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- Sophien Kamoun
European Research Council
- Sophien Kamoun
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Jian-Min Zhou, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
- Received: July 9, 2019
- Accepted: November 23, 2019
- Accepted Manuscript published: November 27, 2019 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: January 6, 2020 (version 2)
© 2019, Adachi et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
- Page views
Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, Scopus, PubMed Central.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Cite this article (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
- Plant Biology
A subset of plant intracellular NLR immune receptors detect effector proteins, secreted by phytopathogens to promote infection, through unconventional integrated domains which resemble the effector’s host targets. Direct binding of effectors to these integrated domains activates plant defenses. The rice NLR receptor Pik-1 binds the Magnaporthe oryzae effector AVR-Pik through an integrated heavy metal-associated (HMA) domain. However, the stealthy alleles AVR-PikC and AVR-PikF avoid interaction with Pik-HMA and evade host defenses. Here, we exploited knowledge of the biochemical interactions between AVR-Pik and its host target, OsHIPP19, to engineer novel Pik-1 variants that respond to AVR-PikC/F. First, we exchanged the HMA domain of Pikp-1 for OsHIPP19-HMA, demonstrating that effector targets can be incorporated into NLR receptors to provide novel recognition profiles. Second, we used the structure of OsHIPP19-HMA to guide the mutagenesis of Pikp-HMA to expand its recognition profile. We demonstrate that the extended recognition profiles of engineered Pikp-1 variants correlate with effector binding in planta and in vitro, and with the gain of new contacts across the effector/HMA interface. Crucially, transgenic rice producing the engineered Pikp-1 variants was resistant to blast fungus isolates carrying AVR-PikC or AVR-PikF. These results demonstrate that effector target-guided engineering of NLR receptors can provide new-to-nature disease resistance in crops.
- Cell Biology
- Plant Biology
The ubiquitin-binding NBR1 autophagy receptor plays a prominent role in recognizing ubiquitylated protein aggregates for vacuolar degradation by macroautophagy. Here, we show that upon exposing Arabidopsis plants to intense light, NBR1 associates with photodamaged chloroplasts independently of ATG7, a core component of the canonical autophagy machinery. NBR1 coats both the surface and interior of chloroplasts, which is then followed by direct engulfment of the organelles into the central vacuole via a microautophagy-type process. The relocalization of NBR1 into chloroplasts does not require the chloroplast translocon complexes embedded in the envelope but is instead greatly enhanced by removing the self-oligomerization mPB1 domain of NBR1. The delivery of NBR1-decorated chloroplasts into vacuoles depends on the ubiquitin-binding UBA2 domain of NBR1 but is independent of the ubiquitin E3 ligases SP1 and PUB4, known to direct the ubiquitylation of chloroplast surface proteins. Compared to wild-type plants, nbr1 mutants have altered levels of a subset of chloroplast proteins and display abnormal chloroplast density and sizes upon high light exposure. We postulate that, as photodamaged chloroplasts lose envelope integrity, cytosolic ligases reach the chloroplast interior to ubiquitylate thylakoid and stroma proteins which are then recognized by NBR1 for autophagic clearance. This study uncovers a new function of NBR1 in the degradation of damaged chloroplasts by microautophagy.