Pathogenic bacteria target plant plasmodesmata to colonize and invade surrounding tissues[CC-by]

Kyaw Aung, Panya Kim, Zhongpeng Li, Anna Joe, Brian Kvitko, James R. Alfano, Sheng Yang Hea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A hallmark of multicellular organisms is their ability to maintain physiological homeostasis by communicating among cells, tissues, and organs. In plants, intercellular communication is largely dependent on plasmodesmata (PD), which are membrane-lined channels connecting adjacent plant cells. Upon immune stimulation, plants close PD as part of their immune responses. Here, we show that the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae deploys an effector protein, HopO1-1, that modulates PD function. HopO1-1 is required for P. syringae to spread locally to neighboring tissues during infection. Expression of HopO1-1 in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) increases the distance of PD-dependent molecular flux between neighboring plant cells. Being a putative ribosyltransferase, the catalytic activity of HopO1-1 is required for regulation of PD. HopO1-1 physically interacts with and destabilizes the plant PD-located protein PDLP7 and possibly PDLP5. Both PDLPs are involved in bacterial immunity. Our findings reveal that a pathogenic bacterium utilizes an effector to manipulate PD-mediated host intercellular communication for maximizing the spread of bacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-611
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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