Plants constantly come into contact with a diverse range of microorganisms that are potential pathogens, and they have evolved multi-faceted physical and hemical strategies to inhibit pathogen ingress and establishment of disease. Microbes, however, have developed their own strategies to counteract plant defence responses. Recent research on plant–microbe interactions has revealed that an important part of the infection strategies of a diverse range of plant pathogens, including bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, is the production of effector proteins that are secreted by the pathogen and that promote successful infection by manipulating plant structure and metabolism, including interference in plant defence mechanisms. Pathogen effector proteins may function either in the extracellular spaces within plant tissues or within the plant cell cytoplasm. Extracellular effectors include cell wall degrading enzymes and inhibitors of plant enzymes that attack invading pathogens. Intracellular effectors move into the plant cell cytoplasm by as yet unknown mechanisms where, in incompatible interactions, they may be recognised by plant resistance proteins but where, in compatible interactions, they may suppress the plant’s immune response. This article presents a brief overview of our current understanding of the nature and function of effectors produced by oomycete plant pathogens.
Field of Research
060704 Plant Pathology
Socio Economic Objective
960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified