Plants possess the ability to recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and PAMPs through the PRRs, and initiate pattern-triggered immunity. MAMPs are derived from cell-envelope components, secreted materials and cytosolic proteins from bacteria, oomycetes or fungi, and some MAMPs play a similar function in the innate immunity in mammals. Chitin is a representative fungal MAMP and triggers defense signaling in a wide range of plant species. The chitin receptors CEBiP and CERK1 on the plasma membrane have LysM (lysin motif) in their ectodomains. These molecules play an important role for the defense responses in rice and Arabidopsis, strictly recognizing the size and acetylated form of chitin oligosaccharides. However, related LysM receptors also play major roles for the signaling in root nodule and arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. This review summarizes current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of the defense and symbiosis signaling mediated by LysM receptors, including the activation steps of chitin-induced defense signaling downstream of LysM receptors.
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