Tomato receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase Fir1 is involved in flagellin signaling and preinvasion immunity

Guy Sobol, Bharat Bhusan Majhi, Metsada Pasmanik-Chor, Ning Zhang, Holly M. Roberts, Gregory B. Martin, Guido Sessa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detection of bacterial flagellin by the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) receptors Flagellin sensing 2 (Fls2) and Fls3 triggers activation of pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). We identified the tomato Fls2/Fls3-interacting receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase 1 (Fir1) protein that is involved in PTI triggered by flagellin perception. Fir1 localized to the plasma membrane and interacted with Fls2 and Fls3 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and in planta. CRISPR/Cas9-generated tomato fir1 mutants were impaired in several immune responses induced by the flagellin-derived peptides flg22 and flgII-28, including resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000, production of reactive oxygen species, and enhanced PATHOGENESIS-RELATED 1b (PR1b) gene expression, but not MAP kinase phosphorylation. Remarkably, fir1 mutants developed larger Pst DC3000 populations than wild-type plants, whereas no differences were observed in wild-type and fir1 mutant plants infected with the flagellin deficient Pst DC3000ΔfliC. fir1 mutants failed to close stomata when infected with Pst DC3000 and Pseudomonas fluorescens and were more susceptible to Pst DC3000 than wild-type plants when inoculated by dipping, but not by vacuum-infiltration, indicating involvement of Fir1 in preinvasion immunity. RNA-seq analysis detected fewer differentially expressed genes in fir1 mutants and altered expression of jasmonic acid (JA)-related genes. In support of JA response deregulation in fir1 mutants, these plants were similarly susceptible to Pst DC3000 and to the coronatine-deficient Pst DC3118 strain, and more resistant to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea following PTI activation. These results indicate that tomato Fir1 is required for a subset of flagellin-triggered PTI responses and support a model in which Fir1 negatively regulates JA signaling during PTI activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-581
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2023


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationIOS-1546625
United States - Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund
BARDIS-3541-21C, IS-4931-16C


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