Interplay of plant glycan hydrolases and LysM proteins in plant - bacteria interactions.
Plants are always found together with bacteria and other microbes. Although plants can be attacked by phytopathogenic bacteria, they are more often engaged in neutral or mutualistic bacterial interactions. In the soil, plants associate with rhizobia or other plant growth promoting rhizosphere bacteria; above ground, bacteria colonise plants as epi- and endophytes. For mounting appropriate responses, such as permitting colonisation by beneficial symbionts while at the same time fending off pathogenic invaders, plants need to distinguish between the "good" and the "bad". Plants make use of proteins containing the lysin motif (LysM) for perception of N-acetylglucosamine containing carbohydrate structures, such as chitooligosaccharides functioning as symbiotic nodulation factors or bacterial peptidoglycan. Moreover, plant hydrolytic enzymes of the chitinase family, which are able to cleave bacterial peptidoglycan or chitooligosaccharides, are essential for cellular signalling induced by rhizobial nodulation factors during symbiosis as well as bacterial peptidoglycan during pathogenesis. Hence, LysM receptors seem to work in concert with hydrolytic enzymes that fine-tune ligand availability to either allow symbiotic interactions or trigger plant immunity.