How do oomycete effectors interfere with plant life?

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2011 Aug;14(4):407-14. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


Oomycete genomes have yielded a large number of predicted effector proteins that collectively interfere with plant life in order to create a favourable environment for pathogen infection. Oomycetes secrete effectors that can be active in the host's extracellular environment, for example inhibiting host defence enzymes, or inside host cells where they can interfere with plant processes, in particular suppression of defence. Two classes of effectors are known to be host-translocated: the RXLRs and Crinklers. Many effectors show defence-suppressive activity that is important for pathogen virulence. A striking example is AVR3a of Phytophthora infestans that targets an ubiquitin ligase, the stabilisation of which may prevent host cell death. The quest for other effector targets and mechanisms is in full swing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Death
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Oomycetes / genetics
  • Oomycetes / immunology
  • Oomycetes / metabolism
  • Oomycetes / pathogenicity*
  • Plant Cells / metabolism
  • Plant Cells / parasitology*
  • Plant Immunity
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Plants / parasitology*
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virulence


  • Plant Proteins