Submitted to: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2011
Publication Date: 8/5/2011
Citation: Dejonge, R., Bolton, M.D., Thomma, B.P.H.J. 2011. How filamentous pathogens co-opt plants; the ins and outs of fungal effectors. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 14:400-406. Interpretive Summary: Pathogens secrete molecules called “effectors” that help to establish disease during plant infection. An understanding of the role that pathogen effectors have during infection is expected to provide new avenues for disease control, yet there is little information on how fungal effectors function. Fungal and oomycete effectors are targeted to the apoplast or cytoplasm where they function to modulate host physiology, often through suppression of host defenses, or to protect the pathogen from host defense responses employed to halt pathogen growth. In this manuscript, we focus on recent progress in research on the function and evolution of effectors from filamentous plant pathogens, guided by the consecutive stages occurring during disease establishment.
Technical Abstract: Research on effectors secreted by pathogens during host attack has dominated the field of molecular plant-microbe interactions over recent years. Functional analysis of type III secreted effectors that are injected by pathogenic bacteria into host cells has significantly advanced the field and demonstrated that many function to suppress host defense. Fungal and oomycete effectors are delivered outside the host plasma membrane, and although research has lagged behind on bacterial effectors, we are gradually learning more and more about the function of eukaryotic effectors. While some function outside the host cell to disarm defense, others exploit host cellular uptake mechanisms to suppress defense or liberate nutrients intracellularly. Comparative genomics suggests that the organization of effector genes drives effector evolution in many fungal genomes.