A catalogue of the effector secretome of plant pathogenic oomycetes

Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2006;44:41-60. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.44.070505.143436.


The oomycetes form a phylogenetically distinct group of eukaryotic microorganisms that includes some of the most notorious pathogens of plants. Oomycetes accomplish parasitic colonization of plants by modulating host cell defenses through an array of disease effector proteins. The biology of effectors is poorly understood but tremendous progress has been made in recent years. This review classifies and catalogues the effector secretome of oomycetes. Two classes of effectors target distinct sites in the host plant: Apoplastic effectors are secreted into the plant extracellular space, and cytoplasmic effectors are translocated inside the plant cell, where they target different subcellular compartments. Considering that five species are undergoing genome sequencing and annotation, we are rapidly moving toward genome-wide catalogues of oomycete effectors. Already, it is evident that the effector secretome of pathogenic oomycetes is more complex than expected, with perhaps several hundred proteins dedicated to manipulating host cell structure and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oomycetes / metabolism*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plants / microbiology*


  • Fungal Proteins