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Plant Pathology and Microbiology

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Published Version

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Molecular Plant Pathology




The soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines , is one of the most destructive pathogens of soybeans. SCN is an obligate and sedentary parasite that transforms host plant root cells into an elaborate permanent feeding site, a syncytium. Formation and maintenance of a viable syncytium is an absolute requirement for nematode growth and reproduction. In turn, sensing pathogen attack, plants activate defence responses and may trigger programmed cell death at the sites of infection. For successful parasitism, H. glycines must suppress these host defence responses to establish and maintain viable syncytia. Similar to other pathogens, H. glycines engages in these molecular interactions with its host via effector proteins. The goal of this study was to conduct a comprehensive screen to identify H. glycines effectors that interfere with plant immune responses. We used Nicotiana benthamiana plants infected by Pseudomonas syringae and Pseudomonas fluorescens strains. Using these pathosystems, we screened 51 H. glycines effectors to identify candidates that could inhibit effector‐triggered immunity (ETI) and/or pathogen‐associated molecular pattern (PAMP)‐triggered immunity (PTI). We identified three effectors as ETI suppressors and seven effectors as PTI suppressors. We also assessed expression modulation of plant immune marker genes as a function of these suppressors.


This article is published as Pogorelko, Gennady, Jianying Wang, Parijat S. Juvale, Melissa G. Mitchum, and Thomas J. Baum. "Screening soybean cyst nematode effectors for their ability to suppress plant immunity." Molecular Plant Pathology (2020). doi: 10.1111/mpp.12972.

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