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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Nov;11(11):800-14. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3119.

Filamentous plant pathogen effectors in action.

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Department of Plant Pathology, 4024 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5502, USA.


Live-cell imaging assisted by fluorescent markers has been fundamental to understanding the focused secretory 'warfare' that occurs between plants and biotrophic pathogens that feed on living plant cells. Pathogens succeed through the spatiotemporal deployment of a remarkably diverse range of effector proteins to control plant defences and cellular processes. Some effectors can be secreted by appressoria even before host penetration, many enter living plant cells where they target diverse subcellular compartments and others move into neighbouring cells to prepare them before invasion. This Review summarizes the latest advances in our understanding of the cell biology of biotrophic interactions between plants and their eukaryotic filamentous pathogens based on in planta analyses of effectors.

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