Chitin-mediated plant-fungal interactions: catching, hiding and handshaking

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2015 Aug:26:64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2015.05.032. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


Plants can detect infecting fungi through the perception of chitin oligosaccharides by lysin motif receptors such as CEBiP and CERK1. A major function of CERK1 seems to be as a signaling molecule in the receptor complex formed with ligand-binding molecules and to activate downstream defense signaling. Fungal pathogens, however, have developed counter strategies to escape from the chitin-mediated detection by using effectors and/or changing their cell walls. Common structural features between chitin and Nod-/Myc-factors and corresponding receptors have suggested the close relationships between the chitin-mediated immunity and rhizobial/arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. The recent discovery of the dual function of OsCERK1 in both plant immunity and mycorrhizal symbiosis sheds new light on the evolutionary relationships between defense and symbiotic systems in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chitin / metabolism*
  • Fungi / pathogenicity*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Mycorrhizae / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Rhizobium / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Symbiosis


  • Plant Proteins
  • Chitin