Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Activation and signaling by plant NLR immune receptors (5134)

Simon Wiliams 1 2 , Adam Bentham 1 3 , Xiaoxiao Zhang 1 4 , Lachlan Casey 1 , Peter Lavrencic 1 , Hayden Burdett 1 3 , Stella Cesari 4 , Daniel Ericsson 5 , Peter Anderson 3 , Mehdi Mobli 6 , Maud Bernoux 4 , Peter N Dodds 4 , Bostjan Kobe 1
  1. School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
  2. Plant Sciences Division, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  3. School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
  4. CSIRO Agriculture Flagship, GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
  5. MX Beamlines, Australian Synchrotron, 800 Blackburn Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  6. Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Plant diseases account for 15% of crop loses worldwide, presenting a significant economic, environmental and social challenge in a world facing increased demands on food, fibre and biofuels. Key determinants of plant disease resistance or susceptibility are the disease-causing molecules from pathogens, known as effectors, and the aptly named plant disease resistance genes. Plant resistance genes often encode proteins with nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat domains that structurally and functionally resemble mammalian nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) protein, which are also involved in immunity. NLR proteins enable plants to detect specific pathogen effectors from the repertoire of effector molecules that pathogens secrete during infection. We are combining structural biology, protein biophysics and biochemistry with in planta functional experiments to understand how NLR proteins function. Here I will describe our major advancements in this area, with a focus on the N-terminal signaling domains and paired NLR protein receptors. The broader implications of these results and future challenges will also be discussed.