Microorganisms play essential roles in almost every environment on earth. For instance, microbes decompose organic material, or establish symbiotic relationships that range from pathogenic to mutualistic. Symbiotic relationships have been particularly well studied for microbial plant pathogens and have emphasized the role of effectors; secreted molecules that support host colonization. Most effectors characterized thus far play roles in deregulation of host immunity. Arguably, however, pathogens not only deal with immune responses during host colonization, but also encounter other microbes including competitors, (myco)parasites and even potential co-operators. Thus, part of the effector catalog may target microbiome co-inhabitants rather than host physiology.
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