Host interactors of effector proteins of the lettuce downy mildew Bremia lactucae obtained by yeast two-hybrid screening

PLoS One. 2020 May 12;15(5):e0226540. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226540. eCollection 2020.


Plant pathogenic bacteria, fungi and oomycetes secrete effector proteins to manipulate host cell processes to establish a successful infection. Over the last decade the genomes and transcriptomes of many agriculturally important plant pathogens have been sequenced and vast candidate effector repertoires were identified using bioinformatic analyses. Elucidating the contribution of individual effectors to pathogenicity is the next major hurdle. To advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying lettuce susceptibility to the downy mildew Bremia lactucae, we mapped physical interactions between B. lactucae effectors and lettuce candidate target proteins. Using a lettuce cDNA library-based yeast-two-hybrid system, 61 protein-protein interactions were identified, involving 21 B. lactucae effectors and 46 unique lettuce proteins. The top ten interactors based on the number of independent colonies identified in the Y2H and two interactors that belong to gene families involved in plant immunity, were further characterized. We determined the subcellular localization of the fluorescently tagged lettuce proteins and their interacting effectors. Importantly, relocalization of effectors or their interactors to the nucleus was observed for four protein-pairs upon their co-expression, supporting their interaction in planta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Disease Resistance / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology*
  • Lettuce / microbiology
  • Oomycetes / pathogenicity*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Plant Proteins

Grants and funding

GVdA was awarded grant #12683 by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research ( MB was awarded grant 864.09.008 by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (