PLANT SCIENCE: A paralogous decoy protectsPhytophthora sojaeapoplastic effector PsXEG1 from a host inhibitor

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The extracellular space (apoplast) of plant tissue represents a critical battleground between plants and attacking microbes. Here we show that a pathogen-secreted apoplastic xyloglucan-specific endoglucanase, PsXEG1, is a focus of this struggle in thePhytophthora sojae-soybean interaction. We show that soybean produces an apoplastic glucanase inhibitor protein, GmGIP1, that binds to PsXEG1 to block its contribution to virulence. P.sojae,however, secretes a paralogous PsXEGl-like protein, PsXLP1, that has lost enzyme activity but binds to GmGIP1 more tightly than does PsXEG1, thus freeing PsXEG1 to support P.sojaeinfection. The gene pair encoding PsXEG1 and PsXLP1 is conserved in manyPhytophthoraspecies, and the P.parasiticaorthologs PpXEG1 and PpXLP1 have similar functions. Thus, this apoplastic decoy strategy may be widely used inPhytophthorapathosystems.

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