Receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases of different subfamilies differentially regulate SOBIR1/BAK1-mediated immune responses in Nicotiana benthamiana

Cell-surface receptors form the front line of plant immunity. The leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-receptor-like kinases SOBIR1 and BAK1 are required for the functionality of the tomato LRR-receptor-like protein Cf-4, which detects the secreted effector Avr4 of the pathogenic fungus Fulvia fulva. Here, we show that the kinase domains of SOBIR1 and BAK1 directly phosphorylate each other and that residues Thr522 and Tyr469 of the kinase domain of Nicotiana benthamiana SOBIR1 are required for its kinase activity and for interacting with signalling partners, respectively. By knocking out multiple genes belonging to different receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (RLCK)-VII subfamilies in N. benthamiana:Cf-4, we show that members of RLCK-VII-6, -7, and -8 differentially regulate the Avr4/Cf-4-triggered biphasic burst of reactive oxygen species. In addition, members of RLCK-VII-7 play an essential role in resistance against the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora palmivora. Our study provides molecular evidence for the specific roles of RLCKs downstream of SOBIR1/BAK1-containing immune complexes.