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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2009 Dec;20(9):1055-63. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

The targeting of plant cellular systems by injected type III effector proteins.

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Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks St., Toronto, ON M5S3B2, Canada.


The battle between phytopathogenic bacteria and their plant hosts has revealed a diverse suite of strategies and mechanisms employed by the pathogen or the host to gain the higher ground. Pathogens continually evolve tactics to acquire host resources and dampen host defences. Hosts must evolve surveillance and defence systems that are sensitive enough to rapidly respond to a diverse range of pathogens, while reducing costly and damaging inappropriate misexpression. The primary virulence mechanism employed by many bacteria is the type III secretion system, which secretes and translocates effector proteins directly into the cells of their plant hosts. Effectors have diverse enzymatic functions and can target specific components of plant systems. While these effectors should favour bacterial fitness, the host may be able to thwart infection by recognizing the activity or presence of these foreign molecules and initiating retaliatory immune measures. We review the diverse host cellular systems exploited by bacterial effectors, with particular focus on plant proteins directly targeted by effectors. Effector-host interactions reveal different stages of the battle between pathogen and host, as well as the diverse molecular strategies employed by bacterial pathogens to hijack eukaryotic cellular systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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