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Chitooligosaccharide sensing and downstream signaling: contrasted outcomes in pathogenic and beneficial plant—microbe interactions

Louis-Philippe Hamel and Nathalie Beaudoin
Planta
Vol. 232, No. 4 (September 2010), pp. 787-806
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23391981
Page Count: 20
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Abstract

In plants, short chitin oligosaccharides and chitosan fragments (collectively referred to as chitooligosaccharides) are well-known elicitors that trigger defense gene expression, synthesis of antimicrobial compounds, and cell wall strengthening. Recent findings have shed new light on chitin-sensing mechanisms and downstream activation of intracellular signaling networks that mediate plant defense responses. Interestingly, chitin receptors possess several lysin motif domains that are also found in several legume Nod factor receptors. Nod factors are chitin-related molecules produced by nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to induce root nodulation. The fact that chitin and Nod factor receptors share structural similarity suggests an evolutionary conserved relationship between mechanisms enabling recognition of both deleterious and beneficial microorganisms. Here, we will present an update on molecular events involved in chitooligosaccharide sensing and downstream signaling pathways in plants and will discuss how structurally related signals may lead to such contrasted outcomes during plant—microbe interactions.

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