The bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 suppresses the two-tiered plant innate immune system by injecting a complex repertoire of type III secretion effector (T3E) proteins. Beyond redundancy and interplay, individual T3Es may interact with multiple immunity-associated proteins, rendering their analysis challenging. We constructed a Pst DC3000 polymutant lacking all 36 T3Es and restored individual T3Es or their mutants to explore the interplay among T3Es. The weakly expressed T3E HopAD1 was sufficient to elicit immunity-associated cell death in Nicotiana benthamiana. HopAD1-induced cell death was suppressed partially by native AvrPtoB and completely by AvrPtoBM3, which has mutations disrupting its E3 ubiquitin ligase domain and two known domains for interacting with immunity-associated kinases. AvrPtoBM3 also gained the ability to interact with the immunity-kinase MKK2, which is required for HopAD1-dependent cell death. Thus, AvrPtoB has alternative, competing mechanisms for suppressing effector-triggered plant immunity. This approach allows the deconvolution of individual T3E activities.
Wei, H. L., Chakravarthy, S., Mathieu, J., Helmann, T. C., Stodghill, P., Swingle, B., … Collmer, A. (2015). Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 Type III Secretion Effector Polymutants Reveal an Interplay between HopAD1 and AvrPtoB. Cell Host and Microbe, 17(6), 752–762. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2015.05.007