Secreted pectin monooxygenases drive plant infection by pathogenic oomycetes

Federico Sabbadin (Lead / Corresponding author), Saioa Urresti, Bernard Henrissat, Anna O. Avrova, Lydia R. J. Welsh, Peter J. Lindley, Michael Csukai, Julie N. Squires, Paul H. Walton, Gideon J. Davies, Neil C. Bruce, Stephen C. Whisson, Simon J. McQueen-Mason (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The oomycete Phytophthora infestans is a damaging crop pathogen and a model organism to study plant-pathogen interactions. We report the discovery of a family of copper-dependent lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) in plant pathogenic oomycetes and its role in plant infection by P. infestans We show that LPMO-encoding genes are up-regulated early during infection and that the secreted enzymes oxidatively cleave the backbone of pectin, a charged polysaccharide in the plant cell wall. The crystal structure of the most abundant of these LPMOs sheds light on its ability to recognize and degrade pectin, and silencing the encoding gene in P. infestans inhibits infection of potato, indicating a role in host penetration. The identification of LPMOs as virulence factors in pathogenic oomycetes opens up opportunities in crop protection and food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-779
Number of pages6
Issue number6556
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021


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