Plants deploy intracellular receptors to counteract pathogen effectors that suppress cell-surface-receptor-mediated immunity. To what extent pathogens manipulate intracellular receptor-mediated immunity, and how plants tackle such manipulation, remains unknown. Arabidopsis thaliana encodes three similar ADR1 class helper nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat receptors (ADR1, ADR1-L1, and ADR1-L2), which are crucial in plant immunity initiated by intracellular receptors. Here, we report that Pseudomonas syringae effector AvrPtoB suppresses ADR1-L1- and ADR1-L2-mediated cell death. ADR1, however, evades such suppression by diversifying into two ubiquitination sites targeted by AvrPtoB. The intracellular sensor SNC1 interacts with and guards the CCR domains of ADR1-L1/L2. Removal of ADR1-L1/L2 or delivery of AvrPtoB activates SNC1, which then signals through ADR1 to trigger immunity. Our work elucidates the long-sought-after function of SNC1 in defense, and also how plants can use dual strategies, sequence diversification, and a multi-layered guard-guardee system, to counteract pathogen's attack on core immunity functions.
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