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Microbial effectors and the role of water and sugar in the infection battle ground
- El Kasmi, Farid, Horvath, Diana, Lahaye, Thomas
- Current opinion in plant biology 2018 v.44 pp. 98-107
- apoplast, habitats, immunity, microorganisms, parasites, pathogens, sugars
- Phytopathogenic microbes multiply in the apoplast—a plant's intercellular spaces—of infected plants, and hence their success relies on the conditions in this habitat. Despite being extracellular parasites, most microbes translocate effectors into host cells that promote disease by acting inside cells. Initial studies suggested that effectors act predominantly as suppressors of plant immunity. These pioneering studies were trend-setting, causing a strong bias in the functional investigation of effectors. Yet, recent studies on bacterial model pathogens have identified effectors that promote disease by causing either increased sugar or water levels in the apoplast. These studies are likely to initiate a new era of effector research that will clarify the disease-promoting rather than defense-suppressing function of effectors, a molecular rather than genetic distinction.