Phytophthora sojae avirulence effector Avr3b is a secreted NADH and ADP-ribose pyrophosphorylase that modulates plant immunity.PLoS Pathog. 2011 Nov; 7(11):e1002353.PP
Plants have evolved pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI) to protect themselves from infection by diverse pathogens. Avirulence (Avr) effectors that trigger plant ETI as a result of recognition by plant resistance (R) gene products have been identified in many plant pathogenic oomycetes and fungi. However, the virulence functions of oomycete and fungal Avr effectors remain largely unknown. Here, we combined bioinformatics and genetics to identify Avr3b, a new Avr gene from Phytophthora sojae, an oomycete pathogen that causes soybean root rot. Avr3b encodes a secreted protein with the RXLR host-targeting motif and C-terminal W and Nudix hydrolase motifs. Some isolates of P. sojae evade perception by the soybean R gene Rps3b through sequence mutation in Avr3b and lowered transcript accumulation. Transient expression of Avr3b in Nicotiana benthamiana increased susceptibility to P. capsici and P. parasitica, with significantly reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) around invasion sites. Biochemical assays confirmed that Avr3b is an ADP-ribose/NADH pyrophosphorylase, as predicted from the Nudix motif. Deletion of the Nudix motif of Avr3b abolished enzyme activity. Mutation of key residues in Nudix motif significantly impaired Avr3b virulence function but not the avirulence activity. Some Nudix hydrolases act as negative regulators of plant immunity, and thus Avr3b might be delivered into host cells as a Nudix hydrolase to impair host immunity. Avr3b homologues are present in several sequenced Phytophthora genomes, suggesting that Phytophthora pathogens might share similar strategies to suppress plant immunity.