BACKGROUND:The rice immune receptor XA21 confers resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the causal agent of bacterial leaf blight. We previously demonstrated that an auxilin-like protein, XA21 BINDING PROTEIN 21 (XB21), positively regulates resistance to Xoo. RESULTS:To further investigate the function of XB21, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen. We identified 22 unique XB21 interacting proteins, including LEUCINE-RICH REPEAT PROTEIN 1 (LRR1), which we selected for further analysis. Silencing of LRR1 in the XA21 genetic background (XA21-LRR1Ri) compromises resistance to Xoo compared with control XA21 plants. XA21-LRR1Ri plants have reduced Xa21 transcript levels and reduced expression of genes that serve as markers of XA21-mediated activation. Overexpression of LRR1 is insufficient to alter resistance to Xoo in rice lines lacking XA21. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, our results indicate that LRR1 is required for wild-type Xa21 transcript expression and XA21-mediated immunity.