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Article|15 Nov 2022|OPEN
The Pythium periplocum elicitin PpEli2 confers broad-spectrum disease resistance by triggering a novel receptor-dependent immune pathway in plants
Kun Yang1 , Yi Wang1 , Jialu Li1 , Yaxin Du1 , Ying Zhai2 , Dong Liang1 , Danyu Shen1 , Rui Ji3 , Xuexiang Ren4 , Hao Peng2 , Maofeng Jing1 , and Daolong Dou,1,5
1Key Laboratory of Biological Interaction and Crop Health, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
3Institute of Plant Protection, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
4Institute of Plant Protection and Agro-Products Safety, Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hefei 230001, China
5Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac255 (2023)
Views: 255

Received: 30 Aug 2022
Accepted: 14 Nov 2022
Published online: 15 Nov 2022


Elicitins are microbe-associated molecular patterns produced by oomycetes to elicit plant defense. It is still unclear whether elicitins derived from non-pathogenic oomycetes can be used as bioactive molecules for disease control. Here, for the first time we identify and characterize an elicitin named PpEli2 from the soil-borne oomycete Pythium periplocum, which is a non-pathogenic mycoparasite colonizing the root ecosystem of diverse plant species. Perceived by a novel cell surface receptor-like protein, REli, that is conserved in various plants (e.g. tomato, pepper, soybean), PpEli2 can induce hypersensitive response cell death and an immunity response in Nicotiana benthamiana. Meanwhile, PpEli2 enhances the interaction between REli and its co-receptor BAK1. The receptor-dependent immune response triggered by PpEli2 is able to protect various plant species against Phytophthora and fungal infections. Collectively, our work reveals the potential agricultural application of non-pathogenic elicitins and their receptors in conferring broad-spectrum resistance for plant protection.