Key message: TransgenicNicotiana benthamianalines with constitutive expression of an Arabidopsis lectin receptor kinase gene (LecRK-I.9orLecRK-IX.1) show enhanced resistance toPhytophthorapathogens, demonstrating conserved gene functionality after interfamily transfer.Abstract: In plants, cell surface receptors mediate the first layer of innate immunity against pathogenic microbes. In Arabidopsis several L-type lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs) were previously found to function as Phytophthora resistance components. In this study, we determined the functionality of Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 or LecRK-IX.1 in Phytophthora resistance when transferred into the Solanaceous plant Nicotiana benthamiana. Multiple transgenic lines were generated for each LecRK gene and molecular analyses revealed variation in transgene copy number, transgene expression levels and LecRK protein accumulation. Infection assays showed that transgenic N. benthamiana plants expressing either Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 or LecRK-IX.1 are more resistant to Phytophthora capsici and to Phytophthora infestans. These results demonstrate that Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 and LecRK-IX.1 retained their Phytophthora resistance function when transferred into N. benthamiana. Therefore, these LecRKs have the potential to function as a complementary Phytophthora resistance resource in distantly related plant species next to the canonical Phytophthora resistance genes encoding nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins.
- Disease resistance
- Interfamily gene transfer
- L-type lectin receptor kinases
- Nicotiana benthamiana