Plant immune responses must be tightly controlled for proper allocation of resources for growth and development. In plants, endogenous signaling peptides regulate developmental and growth-related processes. Recent research indicates that some of these peptides also have regulatory functions in the control of plant immune responses. This classifies these peptides as phytocytokines as they show analogies with metazoan cytokines. However, the mechanistic basis for phytocytokine-mediated regulation of plant immunity remains largely elusive. Here, we identify GOLVEN2 (GLV2) peptides as phytocytokines in Arabidopsis thaliana. GLV2 signaling enhances sensitivity of plants to elicitation with immunogenic bacterial elicitors and contributes to resistance against virulent bacterial pathogens. GLV2 is perceived by ROOT MERISTEM GROWTH FACTOR 1 INSENSITIVE (RGI) receptors. RGI mutants show reduced elicitor sensitivity and enhanced susceptibility to bacterial infection. RGI3 forms ligand-induced complexes with the pattern recognition receptor (PRR) FLAGELLIN SENSITIVE 2 (FLS2), suggesting that RGIs are part of PRR signaling platforms. GLV2-RGI signaling promotes PRR abundance independent of transcriptional regulation and controls plant immunity via a previously undescribed mechanism of phytocytokine activity.
Keywords: pattern-triggered immunity; phytocytokines; plant endogenous peptides; receptor kinases.
© 2022 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.