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Effectors are proteins expressed by plant pathogens to aid infection of specific plant species. These molecules can alter plant processes and are central to understanding the complicated interplay between plants and their pathogens.
The wheat Pm3 immune receptors confer resistance against powdery mildew by recognizing isolate-specific avirulence (AVR) effectors of the pathogen. Here, the authors identify and characterize two new AVR genes and demonstrate that Pm3 receptors are determinants of host-specificity for grass mildews.
Pit2 is a secreted Ustilago maydis effector that contributes to corn smut disease by inhibiting papain-like cysteine proteases (PLCPs) in maize. Here Misas Villamil et al. show that Pit2 mimics PLCP substrates, and is cleaved to release a peptide that blocks PLCP activity and represses host immunity.
CC and TIR-domain type NLR receptors trigger plant immunity in response to pathogen effectors. Here, Bhandari et al. show that the EP-domain surface of EDS1 heterodimers signals downstream of both receptor types and ensures a rapid transcriptional response in TIR-NLR immunity to bacteria.
Bacterial pathogens have a multitude of effectors that target plant host cells and promote disease. A case is made for a new suspect, phytate, as a target of a novel phytase activity for a type III effector of Xanthomonas.
Plant defence against pathogens requires energy, which is provided by photosynthesis. But in addition to this indirect supply role, the photosynthetic light reaction is an active player in fighting off bacteria.