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New Phytol. 2009;183(4):993-1000. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02922.x. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Effectors of biotrophic fungi and oomycetes: pathogenicity factors and triggers of host resistance.

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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.


Many biotrophic fungal and oomycete pathogens share a common infection process involving the formation of haustoria, which penetrate host cell walls and form a close association with plant membranes. Recent studies have identified a class of pathogenicity effector proteins from these pathogens that is transferred into host cells from haustoria during infection. This insight stemmed from the identification of avirulence (Avr) proteins from these pathogens that are recognized by intracellular host resistance (R) proteins. Oomycete effectors contain a conserved translocation motif that directs their uptake into host cells independently of the pathogen, and is shared with the human malaria pathogen. Genome sequence information indicates that oomycetes may express several hundred such host-translocated effectors. Elucidating the transport mechanism of fungal and oomycete effectors and their roles in disease offers new opportunities to understand how these pathogens are able to manipulate host cells to establish a parasitic relationship and to develop new disease-control measures.

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