Phytopathogen type III effector weaponry and their plant targets

Anna Block, Guangyong Li, Zheng Qing Fu, James R. Alfano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Phytopathogenic bacteria suppress plant innate immunity and promote pathogenesis by injecting proteins called type III effectors into plant cells using a type III protein secretion system. These type III effectors use at least three strategies to alter host responses. One strategy is to alter host protein turnover, either by direct cleavage or by modulating ubiquitination and targeting the 26S proteasome. Another strategy involves alteration of RNA metabolism by transcriptional activation or ADP-ribosylation of RNA-binding proteins. A third major strategy is to inhibit the kinases involved in plant defence signaling, either by the removal of phosphates or by direct inhibition. The wide array of strategies that bacterial pathogens employ to suppress innate immunity suggest that circumvention of innate immunity is crucial for bacterial pathogenicity of plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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