The grapevine flagellin receptor VvFLS2 differentially recognizes flagellin-derived epitopes from the endophytic growth-promoting bacterium Burkholderia phytofirmans and plant pathogenic bacteria



  • The role of flagellin perception in the context of plant beneficial bacteria still remains unclear. Here, we characterized the flagellin sensing system flg22–FLAGELLIN SENSING 2 (FLS2) in grapevine, and analyzed the flagellin perception in the interaction with the endophytic plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) Burkholderia phytofirmans.
  • The functionality of the grapevine FLS2 receptor, VvFLS2, was demonstrated by complementation assays in the Arabidopsis thaliana fls2 mutant, which restored flg22-induced H2O2 production and growth inhibition. Using synthetic flg22 peptides from different bacterial origins, we compared recognition specificities between VvFLS2 and AtFLS2.
  • In grapevine, flg22-triggered immune responses are conserved and led to partial resistance against Botrytis cinerea. Unlike flg22 peptides derived from Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Xanthomonas campestris, flg22 peptide derived from B. phytofirmans triggered only a small oxidative burst, weak and transient defense gene induction and no growth inhibition in grapevine. Although, in Arabidopsis, all the flg22 epitopes exhibited similar biological activities, the expression of VvFLS2 into the fls2 background conferred differential flg22 responses characteristic for grapevine.
  • These results demonstrate that VvFLS2 differentially recognizes flg22 from different bacteria, and suggest that flagellin from the beneficial PGPR B. phytofirmans has evolved to evade this grapevine immune recognition system.