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We employed yeast‐two‐hybrid (Y2H) assays, co‐immunoprecipitation, transcriptional silencing by RNA interference and virus‐induced gene silencing (VIGS), and X‐ray crystallography for structure‐guided mutagenesis, to investigate the function of PiSFI3 in targeting a plant U‐Box‐kinase protein (StUBK) to suppress immunity.
We discovered that PiSFI3 is active in the host nucleus and interacts in yeast and in planta with StUBK. UBK is a positive regulator of specific PTI pathways in both potato and Nicotiana benthamiana. Importantly, it contributes to early transcriptional responses that are suppressed by PiSFI3. PiSFI3 forms an unusual trans‐homodimer. Mutation to disrupt dimerization prevents nucleolar localisation of PiSFI3 and attenuates both its interaction with StUBK and its ability to enhance P. infestans leaf colonisation.
PiSFI3 is a ‘WY domain’ RXLR effector that forms a novel trans‐homodimer which is required for its ability to suppress PTI via interaction with the U‐Box‐kinase protein StUBK.
- potato late blight
- disease resistance
- effector-triggered susceptibility