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© 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved. Plant perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and other environmental stresses trigger transient ion fluxes at the plasma membrane. Apart from the role of Ca2+ uptake in signaling, the regulation and significance of PAMPinduced ion fluxes in immunity remain unknown. We characterized the functions of INTEGRIN-LINKED KINASE1 (ILK1) that encodes a Raf-like MAP2K kinase with functions insufficiently understood in plants. Analysis of ILK1 mutants impaired in the expression or kinase activity revealed that ILK1 contributes to plant defense to bacterial pathogens, osmotic stress sensitivity, and cellular responses and total ion accumulation in the plant upon treatment with a bacterial-derived PAMP, flg22. The calmodulin-like protein CML9, a negative modulator of flg22-triggered immunity, interacted with, and suppressed ILK1 kinase activity. ILK1 interacted with and promoted the accumulation of HAK5, a putative (H+)/K+ symporter that mediates a high-affinity uptake during K+ deficiency. ILK1 or HAK5 expression was required for several flg22 responses including gene induction, growth arrest, and plasma membrane depolarization. Furthermore, flg22 treatment induced a rapid K+ efflux at both the plant and cellular levels in wild type, while mutants with impaired ILK1 or HAK5 expression exhibited a comparatively increased K+ loss. Taken together, our results position ILK1 as a link between plant defense pathways and K+ homeostasis.

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Plant Physiology

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