Plant immunity is triggered following the perception of pathogen-derived molecules by plant receptor proteins. Two protein families, membrane-localized receptor-like kinases (RLK) and intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) receptors, play key roles in pathogen perception and in the initiation of downstream signaling cascades that lead to defense responses. In addition to RLKs and NLRs, recent research has identified additional protein families that function as plant resistance (R) proteins. In particular, the botanical tribe Triticeae, which includes the globally important crop species wheat and barley, has played a significant role in the discovery of 'unconventional' R proteins. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on unconventional R genes in Triticeae and the proteins they encode. The knowledge on unconventional R proteins will not only broaden our understanding of plant-pathogen interactions but also have great implications for disease resistance breeding in crops.
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