Interfamily transfer of a plant pattern-recognition receptor confers broad-spectrum bacterial resistance

S. Lacombe, A. Rougon-Cardoso, E. Sherwood, N. Peeters, D. Dahlbeck, H.P. van Esse, M. Smoker, G. Rallapalli, B.P.H.J. Thomma, B. Staskawicz, J.D.G. Jones, C. Zipfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

361 Citations (Scopus)


Plant diseases cause massive losses in agriculture. Increasing the natural defenses of plants may reduce the impact of phytopathogens on agricultural productivity. Pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) detect microbes by recognizing conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)1, 2, 3. Although the overall importance of PAMP-triggered immunity for plant defense is established2, 3, it has not been used to confer disease resistance in crops. We report that activity of a PRR is retained after its transfer between two plant families. Expression of EFR (ref. 4), a PRR from the cruciferous plant Arabidopsis thaliana, confers responsiveness to bacterial elongation factor Tu in the solanaceous plants Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), making them more resistant to a range of phytopathogenic bacteria from different genera. Our results in controlled laboratory conditions suggest that heterologous expression of PAMP recognition systems could be used to engineer broad-spectrum disease resistance to important bacterial pathogens, potentially enabling more durable and sustainable resistance in the field
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • pseudomonas-syringae
  • innate immunity
  • disease resistance
  • transgenic plants
  • arabidopsis
  • perception
  • tomato
  • gene
  • effectors
  • defense


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