Trafficking vesicles: pro or contra pathogens?

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2009 Aug;12(4):437-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2009.06.002. Epub 2009 Jul 14.


Membrane compartmentalization and trafficking are pivotal for eukaryotic life and demand a higher order of coordination. Even in their resting state, most plant cells exhibit a polarized localization of membrane compartments, which is redirected when plant cells are attacked by microbes. Repositioning of organelles at pathogen penetration sites has been reported since more than a decade; however, only recently has targeted vesicle trafficking upon biotic stress emerged. It has become evident that vesicle secretion and endocytic pathways are engaged in the plant's immune system to actively defend against potential pathogens. By contrast, invasive pathogens have evolved means to utilize these trafficking pathways for the suppression of plant defenses and to the benefit of microbial proliferation. This review summarizes recent findings of host intracellular endomembrane adaptations in response to pathogens and how pathogens exploit them.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Models, Biological
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Plant Diseases / immunology
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plants / immunology
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plants / microbiology
  • Protein Transport
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism*