Image_1_The Intracellularly Acting Effector Foa3 Suppresses Defense Responses When Infiltrated Into the Apoplast.TIF
Plant pathogens employ secreted proteins, among which are effectors, to manipulate and colonize their hosts. A large fraction of effectors is translocated into host cells, where they can suppress defense signaling. Bacterial pathogens directly inject effectors into host cells via the type three secretion system, but it is little understood how eukaryotic pathogens, such as fungi, accomplish this critical process and how their secreted effectors enter host cells. The root-infecting fungus Fusarium oxysporum (Fo) secrets numerous effectors into the extracellular space. Some of these, such as Foa3, function inside the plant cell to suppress host defenses. Here, we show that Foa3 suppresses pattern-triggered defense responses to the same extent when it is produced in planta irrespective of whether the protein carries the PR1 secretory signal peptide or not. When a GFP-tagged Foa3 was targeted for secretion it localized, among other locations, to mobile subcellular structures of unknown identity. Furthermore, like the well-known cell penetrating peptide Arginine 9, Foa3 was found to deliver an orthotospovirus avirulence protein-derived peptide into the cytosol, resulting in the activation of the matching resistance protein. Finally, we show that infiltrating Foa3 into the apoplast results in strong suppression of the pattern-triggered immune responses, potentially indicating its uptake by the host cells in absence of a pathogen.