The transfer of well-studied native and chimeric pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to susceptible plants is a proven strategy to improve host resistance. In most cases, the ectodomain determines PRR recognition specificity, while the endodomain determines the intensity of the immune response. Here we report the generation and characterization of the chimeric receptor EFR-Cf-9, which carries the ectodomain of the Arabidopsis thaliana EF-Tu receptor (EFR) and the endodomain of the tomato Cf-9 resistance protein. Both transient and stable expression of EFR-Cf-9 triggered a robust hypersensitive response (HR) upon elf18 treatment in tobacco. Co-immunoprecipitation and virus-induced gene silencing studies showed that EFR-Cf-9 constitutively interacts with SUPPRESSOR OF BIR1-1 (SOBIR1) co-receptor, and requires both SOBIR1 and kinase-active BRI1-ASSOCIATED KINASE1 (BAK1) for its function. Transgenic plants expressing EFR-Cf-9 were more resistant to the (hemi)biotrophic bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas amygdali pv. tabaci (Pta) 11528 and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and mounted an HR in response to high doses of Pta 11528 and P. carotovorum. Taken together, these data indicate that the EFR-Cf-9 chimera is a valuable tool for both investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for the activation of defence responses by PRRs, and for potential biotechnological use to improve crop disease resistance.
Keywords: BAK1; Cf-9; EFR; R genes; SOBIR1; pattern recognition receptors; plant innate immunity.
© 2019 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology Published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.