NLR receptor networks: filling the gap between evolutionary and mechanistic studies

All kinds of pathogens and pests secrete effectors that modulate host processes
Effectors can “trip the wire” and activate plant immune receptors
Activated NLRs oligomerize into resistosomes
Death switch — ZAR1 N-terminal α1 helix undergoes a fold switch that releases a funnel-shaped structure
RPP1 TIR domain is an NADase enzyme that is essential for activation of cell death
Pioneers of plant immunity: from Biffen’s resistance genes to Flor’s gene-for-gene model
Beyond the single gene: the genome as a system
Beyond the gene-for-gene model: receptor networks underpin plant immunity
Many NLRs require other NLRs to activate immunity
Asymmetrical evolution of NLR proteins: from multifunctional singletons to pairs to networks
NRC network — a CC-NLR network that mediates immunity to diverse plant pathogens
New way of doing business — effectoromics pipelines led us to discover AVR effectors back in the mid-2000s
The NRC network emerged in asterid plants from an NLR pair ~100 MYA
How redundant is the NRC network? Signal convergence/amplification vs. insulated pathways
Why are immune receptor networks redundant?
Pathogen effectors that suppress helper NLR hubs in the NRC network
Whatever works! Pathogens convergently evolved to target the NRC network
ZAR1 and NRC4 share the N-terminal MADA alpha helix
MADA motif defines N-terminus of about one fifth of CC-NLRs
α1 helix of ZAR1 and other MADA-CC-NLRs can functionally replace the N-terminus of NRC4
Use it or lose it! CC domain of sensor NLRs have become non-functional over evolutionary time
Molecular basis of functional specialization during CC-NLR evolution from singletons to networks



Biologist; passionate about science, plant pathogens, genomics, and evolution; loves travel, food, and sports; nomad and hunter-gatherer.

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