Authors: Vargas, Walter Alberto; Sanz Martín, José M.; Rech, Gabriel E.; Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio D.; Rivera Rodriguez, Lina Patricia; Echeverria, María de Las Mercedes; Díaz Mínguez, José M.; Thon, Michael R.; Sukno, Serenella A.
Publication Date: 2016.
Plant pathogens have the capacity to manipulate the host immune system through the secretion of effectors. We identified 27 putative effector proteins encoded in the genome of the maize anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola that are likely to target the host’s nucleus, as they simultaneously contain sequence signatures for secretion and nuclear localization. We functionally characterized one protein, identified as CgEP1. This protein is synthesized during the early stages of disease development and is necessary for anthracnose development in maize leaves, stems, and roots. Genetic, molecular, and biochemical studies confirmed that this effector targets the host’s nucleus and defines a novel class of double-stranded DNA-binding protein. We show that CgEP1 arose from a gene duplication in an ancestor of a lineage of monocot-infecting Colletotrichum spp. and has undergone an intense evolution process, with evidence for episodes of positive selection. We detected CgEP1 homologs in several species of a grass-infecting lineage of Colletotrichum spp., suggesting that its function may be conserved across a large number of anthracnose pathogens. Our results demonstrate that effectors targeted to the host nucleus may be key elements for disease development and aid in the understanding of the genetic basis of anthracnose development in maize plants.
Author affiliation: Vargas, Walter Alberto. Universidad de Salamanca; España. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Author affiliation: Sanz Martín, José M.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Rech, Gabriel E.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio D.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Rivera Rodriguez, Lina Patricia. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Echeverria, María de Las Mercedes. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias; Argentina
Author affiliation: Díaz Mínguez, José M.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Thon, Michael R.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Author affiliation: Sukno, Serenella A.. Universidad de Salamanca; España
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas