LYS12 LysM receptor decelerates Phytophthora palmivora disease progression in Lotus japonicus.

30 Jan 2018

Phytophthora palmivora is a devastating oomycete plant pathogen. We found that P. palmivora induces disease in Lotus japonicus and used this interaction to identify cellular and molecular events in response to this oomycete, which has a broad host range. Transcript quantification revealed that Lys12 was highly and rapidly induced during P. palmivora infection. Mutants of Lys12 displayed accelerated disease progression, earlier plant death and a lower level of defence gene expression than the wild type, while the defence program after chitin, laminarin, oligogalacturonide or flg22 treatment and the root symbioses with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhiza were similar to the wild type. On the microbial side, we found that P. palmivora encodes an active chitin synthase-like protein, and mycelial growth is impaired after treatment with a chitin-synthase inhibitor. However, wheat germ agglutinin-detectable N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) epitopes were not identified when the oomycete was grown in vitro or while infecting the roots. This indicates that conventional GlcNAc-mers are unlikely to be produced and/or accumulate in P. palmivora cell walls and that LYS12 might perceive an unknown carbohydrate. The impact of Lys12 on progression of root rot disease, together with the finding that similar genes are present in other P. palmivora hosts, suggests that LYS12 might mediate a common early response to this pathogen.