A Plant Immune Receptor Degraded by Selective Autophagy

Fan Yang, Athen N. Kimberlin, Christian G. Elowsky, Yunfeng Liu, Ariadna Gonzalez-Solis, Edgar B. Cahoon, James R. Alfano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Plants recycle non-activated immune receptors to maintain a functional immune system. The Arabidopsis immune receptor kinase FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2) recognizes bacterial flagellin. However, the molecular mechanisms by which non-activated FLS2 and other non-activated plant PRRs are recycled remain not well understood. Here, we provide evidence showing that Arabidopsis orosomucoid (ORM) proteins, which have been known to be negative regulators of sphingolipid biosynthesis, act as selective autophagy receptors to mediate the degradation of FLS2. Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ORM1 or ORM2 have undetectable or greatly diminished FLS2 accumulation, nearly lack FLS2 signaling, and are more susceptible to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. On the other hand, ORM1/2 RNAi plants and orm1 or orm2 mutants generated by the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing have increased FLS2 accumulation and enhanced FLS2 signaling, and are more resistant to P. syringae. ORM proteins interact with FLS2 and the autophagy-related protein ATG8. Interestingly, overexpression of ORM1 or ORM2 in autophagy-defective mutants showed FLS2 abundance that is comparable to that in wild-type plants. Moreover, FLS2 levels were not decreased in Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ORM1/2 derivatives that do not interact with ATG8. Taken together, these results suggest that selective autophagy functions in maintaining the homeostasis of a plant immune receptor and that beyond sphingolipid metabolic regulation ORM proteins can also act as selective autophagy receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-123
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2019



  • Plant immunity
  • pattern recognition receptor
  • selective autophagy
  • selective autophagy receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Yang, F., Kimberlin, A. N., Elowsky, C. G., Liu, Y., Gonzalez-Solis, A., Cahoon, E. B., & Alfano, J. R. (2019). A Plant Immune Receptor Degraded by Selective Autophagy. Molecular Plant, 12(1), 113-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2018.11.011