Wheat PR-1 proteins are targeted by necrotrophic pathogen effector proteins

Susan Breen, Simon J. Williams, Britta Winterberg, Bostjan Kobe, Peter S. Solomon*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent studies have identified that proteinaceous effectors secreted by Parastagonospora nodorum are required to cause disease on wheat. These effectors interact in a gene-for-gene manner with host-dominant susceptibilty loci, resulting in disease. However, whilst the requirement of these effectors for infection is clear, their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. A yeast-two-hybrid library approach was used to search for wheat proteins that interacted with the necrotrophic effector SnTox3. Using this strategy we indentified an interaction between SnTox3 and the wheat pathogenicity-related protein TaPR-1-1, and confirmed it by in-planta co-immunprecipitation. PR-1 proteins represent a large family (23 in wheat) of proteins that are upregulated early in the defence response; however, their function remains ellusive. Interestingly, the P. nodorum effector SnToxA has recently been shown to interact specifically with TaPR-1-5. Our analysis of the SnTox3–TaPR-1 interaction demonstrated that SnTox3 can interact with a broader range of TaPR-1 proteins. Based on these data we utilised homology modeling to predict, and validate, regions on TaPR-1 proteins that are likely to be involved in the SnTox3 interaction. Precipitating from this work, we identified that a PR-1-derived defence signalling peptide from the C-terminus of TaPR-1-1, known as CAPE1, enhanced the infection of wheat by P. nodorum in an SnTox3-dependent manner, but played no role in ToxA-mediated disease. Collectively, our data suggest that P. nodorum has evolved unique effectors that target a common host-protein involved in host defence, albeit with different mechanisms and potentially outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-25
    Number of pages13
    JournalPlant Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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