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Plant J. 2006 Apr;46(1):14-33.

Type III effectors orchestrate a complex interplay between transcriptional networks to modify basal defence responses during pathogenesis and resistance.

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Department of Agricultural Science, Imperial College London, Wye Campus, High Street, Wye TN25 5AH, UK.


To successfully infect a plant, bacterial pathogens inject a collection of Type III effector proteins (TTEs) directly into the plant cell that function to overcome basal defences and redirect host metabolism for nutrition and growth. We examined (i) the transcriptional dynamics of basal defence responses between Arabidopsis thaliana and Pseudomonas syringae and (ii) how basal defence is subsequently modulated by virulence factors during compatible interactions. A set of 96 genes displaying an early, sustained induction during basal defence was identified. These were also universally co-regulated following other bacterial basal resistance and non-host responses or following elicitor challenges. Eight hundred and eighty genes were conservatively identified as being modulated by TTEs within 12 h post-inoculation (hpi), 20% of which represented transcripts previously induced by the bacteria at 2 hpi. Significant over-representation of co-regulated transcripts encoding leucine rich repeat receptor proteins and protein phosphatases were, respectively, suppressed and induced 12 hpi. These data support a model in which the pathogen avoids detection through diminution of extracellular receptors and attenuation of kinase signalling pathways. Transcripts associated with several metabolic pathways, particularly plastid based primary carbon metabolism, pigment biosynthesis and aromatic amino acid metabolism, were significantly modified by the bacterial challenge at 12 hpi. Superimposed upon this basal response, virulence factors (most likely TTEs) targeted genes involved in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, consistent with the abrogation of lignin deposition and other wall modifications likely to restrict the passage of nutrients and water to the invading bacteria. In contrast, some pathways associated with stress tolerance are transcriptionally induced at 12 hpi by TTEs.

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