Receptor Kinases in Plant-Pathogen Interactions: More Than Pattern Recognition

Plant Cell. 2017 Apr;29(4):618-637. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00891. Epub 2017 Mar 16.


Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) and Receptor-like proteins (RLPs) play crucial roles in plant immunity, growth, and development. Plants deploy a large number of RLKs and RLPs as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that detect microbe- and host-derived molecular patterns as the first layer of inducible defense. Recent advances have uncovered novel PRRs, their corresponding ligands, and mechanisms underlying PRR activation and signaling. In general, PRRs associate with other RLKs and function as part of multiprotein immune complexes at the cell surface. Innovative strategies have emerged for the rapid identification of microbial patterns and their cognate PRRs. Successful pathogens can evade or block host recognition by secreting effector proteins to "hide" microbial patterns or inhibit PRR-mediated signaling. Furthermore, newly identified pathogen effectors have been shown to manipulate RLKs controlling growth and development by mimicking peptide hormones of host plants. The ongoing studies illustrate the importance of diverse plant RLKs in plant disease resistance and microbial pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Resistance / genetics
  • Disease Resistance / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plant Immunity / genetics
  • Plant Immunity / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / genetics
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition