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Whole-genome analysis to identify type III-secreted effectors

, : Whole-genome analysis to identify type III-secreted effectors. Methods in Molecular Biology 354: 19-34

Many Gram-negative plant and animal pathogens share a common virulence strategy that relies on the specialized type III secretion system. This apparatus is used to secrete virulence factors, called effectors, into the extracellular host environment and directly into the cytoplasm of host cells. Effectors interfere with host signaling and host metabolism to create an optimal environment for pathogen replication. The identification of effectors in plant pathogens was limited for many years to those effectors that elicit strong plant defenses on some hosts. The members of this subset, called avirulence proteins, can be readily identified because they dominantly confer strong defense-inducing properties to a heterologous virulent strain. This chapter describes two methods to identify type III-secreted effectors in plant pathogens independently of their phenotype. The first method consists of an in vivo molecular genetic screen that uses the activity of an avirulence protein to identify effectors without avirulence activity. It should be possible to apply this method to most Gram-negative plant pathogens. The second method consists of a bioinformatic approach applicable to those pathogens for which at least a draft genome sequence is available.


PMID: 17172741

DOI: 10.1385/1-59259-966-4:19

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