L-type lectin receptor kinases in Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato and their role in Phytophthora resistance

Y. Wang, R. Weide, F. Govers*, K. Bouwmeester*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane-bound receptors play crucial roles as sentinels of plant immunity against a large variety of invading microbes. One class of receptors known to be involved in self/non-self-surveillance and plant resistance comprises the L-type lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs). Previously, we reported that several Arabidopsis LecRKs play a role in resistance to Phytophthora pathogens. In this study, we determined whether homologues of these LecRKs from the Solanaceous plants Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) play similar roles in defence against Phytophthora. In genome-wide screenings, a total of 38 (Nb)LecRKs were identified in N. benthamiana and 22 (Sl)LecRKs in tomato, each consisting of both a lectin and a kinase domain. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that, in contrast to Arabidopsis, which has a LecRK family comprising nine clades, Solanaceous species have just five of these nine clades (i.e. IV, VI, VII, VIII, and IX), plus four additional clades that lack Arabidopsis homologues. Several of the Solanaceous LecRKs were selected for functional analysis using virus-induced gene silencing. Infection assays with Phytophthora capsici and Phytophthora infestans on LecRK-silenced plants revealed that N. benthamiana and tomato homologues in clade IX play a role in Phytophthora resistance similar to the two Arabidopsis LecRKs in this clade, suggesting conserved functions of clade IX LecRKs across different plant families. This study provides a first insight into the diversity of Solanaceous LecRKs and their role in plant immunity, and shows the potential of LecRKs for Phytophthora resistance breeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6731-6743
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Immune receptors
  • LecRKs
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Phytophthora pathogens
  • Plant resistance
  • RLK


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