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Clin Exp Immunol. 2010 Apr;160(1):62-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2010.04134.x.

99th Dahlem conference on infection, inflammation and chronic inflammatory disorders: innate immune responses in plants.

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Max Planck Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Köln, Germany.


Plants rely exclusively upon mechanisms of innate immunity. Current concepts of the plant innate immune system are based largely on two forms of immunity that engage distinct classes of immune receptors. These receptors enable the recognition of non-self structures that are either conserved between members of a microbial class or specific to individual strains of a microbe. One type of receptor comprises membrane-resident pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that detect widely conserved microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) on the cell surface. A second type of mainly intracellular immune sensors, designated resistance (R) proteins, recognizes either the structure or function of strain-specific pathogen effectors that are delivered inside host cells. Phytopathogenic microorganisms have evolved a repertoire of effectors, some of which are delivered into plant cells to sabotage MAMP-triggered immune responses. Plants appear to have also evolved receptors that sense cellular injury by the release and perception of endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). It is possible that the integration of MAMP and DAMP responses is critical to mount robust MAMP-triggered immunity. This signal integration might help to explain why plants are colonized in nature by remarkably diverse and seemingly asymptomatic microbial communities.

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