Message in a Bubble: Shuttling Small RNAs and Proteins Between Cells and Interacting Organisms Using Extracellular Vesicles

Qiang Cai, Baoye He, Shumei Wang, Stephen Fletcher, Dongdong Niu, Neena Mitter, Paul R. J. Birch, Hailing Jin (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Communication between plant cells and interacting microorganisms requires the secretion and uptake of functional molecules to and from the extracellular environment and is essential for the survival of both plants and their pathogens. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid bilayer-enclosed spheres that deliver RNA, protein, and metabolite cargos from donor to recipient cells and participate in many cellular processes. Emerging evidencehas shown that both plant and microbial EVs play important roles in cross-kingdom molecular exchange between hosts and interacting microbes to modulate host immunity and pathogen virulence. Recent studies revealed that plant EVs function as a defense system by encasing and delivering small RNAs (sRNAs) into pathogens, thereby mediating cross-species and cross-kingdom RNA interference to silence virulence-related genes. This review focuses on the latest advances in our understanding of plant and microbial EVs and their roles in transporting regulatory molecules, especially sRNAs, between hosts and pathogens. EV biogenesis and secretion are also discussed, as EV function relies on these important processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-524
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
Volume72
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • extracellular vesicles
  • small RNA
  • cross-kingdom RNAi
  • exosome
  • cell-to-cell communication
  • plant immunity
  • Plant Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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