Plants employ a diverse intracellular system of NLR (nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat) innate immune receptors to detect pathogens of all types. These receptors represent valuable agronomic traits that plant breeders rely on to maximize yield in the face of devastating pathogens. Despite their importance, the mechanistic underpinnings of NLR-based disease resistance remain obscure. The rapidly increasing numbers of plant genomes are revealing a diverse array of NLR-type immune receptors. In parallel, mechanistic studies are describing diverse functions for NLR immune receptors. In this review, we intend to broadly describe how the structural, functional, and genomic diversity of plant immune receptors can provide a valuable resource for rational engineering of plant immunity.
Keywords: NLR proteins; cell death; disease resistance; immune receptor; innate immunity.