Immunity to Rice Blast Disease by Suppression of Effector-Triggered Necrosis

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Hemibiotrophic pathogens are some of the most destructive plant pathogens, causing huge economic losses and threatening global food security. Infection with these organisms often involves an initial biotrophic infection phase, during which the pathogen spreads in host tissue asymptomatically, followed by a necrotrophic phase, during which host-cell death is induced. How hemibiotrophic pathogens trigger host necrosis and how plants inhibit the transition from the biotrophic stage to the necrotrophic stage in disease symptom expression are mainly unknown. The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae spreads in rice biotrophically early during infection, but this biotrophic stage is followed by a pronounced switch to cell death and lesion formation. Here, we show that the M. oryzae effector AvrPiz-t interacts with the bZIP-type transcription factor APIP5 in the cytoplasm and suppresses its transcriptional activity and protein accumulation at the necrotrophic stage. Silencing of APIP5 in transgenic rice leads to cell death, and the phenotype is enhanced by the expression of AvrPiz-t. Conversely, Piz-t interacts with and stabilizes APIP5 to prevent necrosis at the necrotrophic stage. At the same time, APIP5 is essential for Piz-t stability. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism for the suppression of effector-triggered necrosis at the necrotrophic stage by an NLR receptor in plants.




Wang, R., Ning, Y., Shi, X., He, F., Zhang, C., Fan, J., … Wang, G. L. (2016). Immunity to Rice Blast Disease by Suppression of Effector-Triggered Necrosis. Current Biology, 26(18), 2399–2411.

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