Virulence strategies of an insect herbivore and oomycete plant pathogen converge on host E3 SUMO ligase SIZ1

Shan Liu, Camille J. G. Lenoir, Tiago M. M. M. Amaro, Patricia A. Rodriguez, Edgar Huitema (Lead / Corresponding author), Jorunn I. B. Bos (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)


Pathogens and pests secrete proteins (effectors) to interfere with plant immunity through modification of host target functions and disruption of immune signalling networks. The extent of convergence between pathogen and herbivorous insect virulence strategies is largely unexplored. We found that effectors from the oomycete pathogen, Phytophthora capsici, and the major aphid pest, Myzus persicae target the host immune regulator SIZ1, an E3 SUMO ligase. We used transient expression assays in Nicotiana benthamiana as well as Arabidopsis mutants to further characterize biological role of effector-SIZ1 interactions in planta. We show that the oomycete and aphid effector, which both contribute to virulence, feature different activities towards SIZ1. While M. persicae effector Mp64 increases SIZ1 protein levels in transient assays, P. capsici effector CRN83_152 enhances SIZ1-E3 SUMO ligase activity in vivo. SIZ1 contributes to host susceptibility to aphids and an oomycete pathogen. Knockout of SIZ1 in Arabidopsis decreased susceptibility to aphids, independent of SNC1, PAD4 and EDS1. Similarly SIZ1 knockdown in N. benthamiana led to reduced P. capsici infection. Our results suggest convergence of distinct pathogen and pest virulence strategies on an E3 SUMO ligase to enhance host susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1614
Number of pages16
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
Early online date2 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • E3 SUMO ligase
  • aphid
  • effector
  • host susceptibility
  • oomycete
  • virulence strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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