Opinion: Plant pathogen effector proteins as manipulators of host microbiomes? (Mol Plant)

To understand disease development, effector research has mainly focused on the direct interaction of pathogen-derived molecules with plant host targets, or their sensing by surface or intracellular receptors. Recently, attention has turned to the plant microbiome and its key role in maintaining plant health. How microbial communities are manipulated by plant pathogens in sensing and infection of hosts remains largely unexplored. In this Opinion article, Snelders et al. hypothesize the involvement of highly specialized effectors that may act as tools for interaction with beneficial microbes. These microbiome-manipulating effectors may have different transcriptional profiles from other effectors, due to being involved in processes before the actual host contact. Therefore, identifying this interesting set of pathogenic proteins will require high resolution transcriptomics and comparative genomics approaches across soil microbes with different lifestyles. (Summary by Amey Redkar) (Image Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.) Mol. Plant. Pathol. 10.1111/mpp.12628/full