Preprint: The Hyaloperanospora arabidopsidis effector HaRxL77 is hypermobile between cells and manipulates host defence (2022)
Liu X, Bellandi A, Johnston MG, Faulkner C
Multicellular organisms require dynamic communication between cells, tissues and organs to integrate responses to external and internal signals. In plants, cell-to-cell communication relies in part on plasmodesmata, which connect adjacent cells and allow the exchange of signals and resources. Upon infection by pathogens, plants act to isolate infected cells from non-infected cells by closing plasmodesmata but pathogens can suppress this defence and maintain plasmodesmata in an open state. To address the question of what a pathogen might gain from keeping plasmodesmata open, we screened effectors from the biotrophic Arabidopsis pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) for the ability to move cell-to-cell via plasmodesmata in plant tissues. We quantified the mobility of cytoplasmic effectors and identified six that were hypermobile, i.e., can move further than expected for a protein of that size. Of these, HaRxL77 indirectly modifies plasmodesmatal permeability to facilitate hypermobility and suppresses the flg22-induced ROS burst, suggesting that cell-to-cell mobility of effectors allows defence manipulation ahead of the infection front. Thus, this study provides novel insights into how Hpa exploits plasmodesmata-mediated intercellular connectivity to promote infection, characterising a poorly explored element of plant-pathogen interaction.