Necrosis and Ethylene-inducing-Like Peptide patterns from crop pathogens induce differential responses within seven Brassicaceous species

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Translational research is required to advance fundamental knowledge on plant immunity towards application in crop improvement. Recognition of Microbe/Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (MAMPs/PAMPs) triggers a first layer of immunity in plants. The broadly occurring family of necrosis and ethylene-inducing peptide 1 (NEP1)-like proteins (NLPs) contains immunogenic peptide patterns that are recognized by a number of plant species. Arabidopsis can recognise NLP peptides by the pattern recognition receptor AtRLP23 and its co-receptors SOBIR1, BAK1 and BKK1 leading to induction of defence responses including the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and elevation of intracellular [Ca2+]. However, little is known about NLP perception in Brassica crop speciesWithin 12 diverse accessions for each of six Brassica crop species, we demonstrate variation in response to Botrytis cinerea NLP BcNEP2, with B. oleracea (CC genome) being non-responsive and only two B. napus cultivars responding to BcNEP2. Peptides derived from four fungal pathogens of these crop species elicited responses similar to BcNEP2 in B. napus and Arabidopsis. Induction of ROS by NLP peptides was strongly reduced in Atrlp23, Atsobir1 and Atbak1-5bkk1-1 mutants, confirming that recognition of Brassica pathogen NLPs occurs in a similar manner to that of HaNLP3 from Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis in Arabidopsis. In silico analysis of the genomes of two B. napus accessions showed similar presence of homologues for AtBAK1, AtBKK1 and AtSOBIR1 but variation in the organisation of AtRLP23 homologues. We could not detect a strong correlation between the ability to respond to NLP peptides and resistance to B. cinerea.