Patterns of plant subcellular responses to successful oomycete infections reveal differences in host cell reprogramming and endocytic trafficking

Cell Microbiol. 2012 May;14(5):682-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2012.01751.x. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


Adapted filamentous pathogens such as the oomycetes Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) and Phytophthora infestans (Pi) project specialized hyphae, the haustoria, inside living host cells for the suppression of host defence and acquisition of nutrients. Accommodation of haustoria requires reorganization of the host cell and the biogenesis of a novel host cell membrane, the extrahaustorial membrane (EHM), which envelops the haustorium separating the host cell from the pathogen. Here, we applied live-cell imaging of fluorescent-tagged proteins labelling a variety of membrane compartments and investigated the subcellular changes associated with accommodating oomycete haustoria in Arabidopsis and N. benthamiana. Plasma membrane-resident proteins differentially localized to the EHM. Likewise, secretory vesicles and endosomal compartments surrounded Hpa and Pi haustoria revealing differences between these two oomycetes, and suggesting a role for vesicle trafficking pathways for the pathogen-controlled biogenesis of the EHM. The latter is supported by enhanced susceptibility of mutants in endosome-mediated trafficking regulators. These observations point at host subcellular defences and specialization of the EHM in a pathogen-specific manner. Defence-associated haustorial encasements, a double-layered membrane that grows around mature haustoria, were frequently observed in Hpa interactions. Intriguingly, all tested plant proteins accumulated at Hpa haustorial encasements suggesting the general recruitment of default vesicle trafficking pathways to defend pathogen access. Altogether, our results show common requirements of subcellular changes associated with oomycete biotrophy, and highlight differences between two oomycete pathogens in reprogramming host cell vesicle trafficking for haustoria accommodation. This provides a framework for further dissection of the pathogen-triggered reprogramming of host subcellular changes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / immunology
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology*
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / microbiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Oomycetes / cytology
  • Oomycetes / growth & development
  • Oomycetes / metabolism
  • Oomycetes / pathogenicity*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Tobacco / immunology
  • Tobacco / microbiology*