Plants are constantly exposed to would-be pathogens and pests, and thus have a sophisticated immune system to ward off these threats, which otherwise can have devastating ecological and economic consequences on ecosystems and agriculture. Plants employ receptor kinases (RKs) and receptor-like proteins (RLPs) as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to monitor their apoplastic environment and detect non-self and damaged-self patterns as signs of potential danger. Plant PRRs contribute to both basal and non-host resistances, and treatment with pathogen-/microbe-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs/MAMPs) or damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) recognized by plant PRRs induces both local and systemic immunity. Here, we comprehensively review known PAMPs/DAMPs recognized by plants as well as the plant PRRs described to date. In particular, we describe the different methods that can be used to identify PAMPs/DAMPs and PRRs. Finally, we emphasize the emerging biotechnological potential use of PRRs to improve broad-spectrum, and potentially durable, disease resistance in crops.


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