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Science 329 (5994): 953-955

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Conserved Fungal LysM Effector Ecp6 Prevents Chitin-Triggered Immunity in Plants

Ronnie de Jonge,1 H. Peter van Esse,1 Anja Kombrink,1 Tomonori Shinya,3 Yoshitake Desaki,3 Ralph Bours,4 Sander van der Krol,4 Naoto Shibuya,3 Matthieu H. A. J. Joosten,1 Bart P. H. J. Thomma1,2,*

Abstract: Multicellular organisms activate immunity upon recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Chitin is the major component of fungal cell walls, and chitin oligosaccharides act as PAMPs in plant and mammalian cells. Microbial pathogens deliver effector proteins to suppress PAMP-triggered host immunity and to establish infection. Here, we show that the LysM domain–containing effector protein Ecp6 of the fungal plant pathogen Cladosporium fulvum mediates virulence through perturbation of chitin-triggered host immunity. During infection, Ecp6 sequesters chitin oligosaccharides that are released from the cell walls of invading hyphae to prevent elicitation of host immunity. This may represent a common strategy of host immune suppression by fungal pathogens, because LysM effectors are widely conserved in the fungal kingdom.

1 Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, Netherlands.
2 Centre for Biosystems Genomics, Post Office Box 98, 6700 AB Wageningen, Netherlands.
3 Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214–8571, Japan.
4 Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, Netherlands.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bart.thomma{at}wur.nl


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