All roads lead to susceptibility: the many modes-of-action of fungal and oomycete intracellular effectors

Qin He, Hazel McLellan, Petra C. Boevink, Paul R. J. Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ability to secrete effector proteins which can enter plant cells and manipulate host processes is a key determinant of what makes a successful plant pathogen. Here, we review intracellular effectors from filamentous (fungal and oomycete) phytopathogens and the host proteins and processes which are targeted in order to promote disease. We cover contrasting virulence strategies, and effector modes of action. Filamentous pathogen effectors alter the fates of host proteins that they target; changing their stability, their activity, their location, and the protein partners with which they interact. Some effectors inhibit target activity, whereas others enhance or utilise it, and some target multiple host proteins. We discuss the emerging topic of effectors that target negative regulators of immunity, or other plant proteins with activities that support susceptibility. We also highlight the commonly targeted host proteins that are manipulated by effectors from multiple pathogens, including those representing different kingdoms of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100050
JournalPlant Communications
Early online date24 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2020



  • effectors
  • fungi
  • oomycete
  • immunity
  • defence
  • Susceptibility factor

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