UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Chloroplasts and Plant Immunity : Where Are the Fungal Effectors? Kretschmer, Matthias; Damoo, Djihane; Djamei, Armin; Kronstad, James Warren


Chloroplasts play a central role in plant immunity through the synthesis of secondary metabolites and defense compounds, as well as phytohormones, such as jasmonic acid and salicylic acid. Additionally, chloroplast metabolism results in the production of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide as defense molecules. The impact of viral and bacterial infections on plastids and chloroplasts has been well documented. In particular, bacterial pathogens are known to introduce effectors specifically into chloroplasts, and many viral proteins interact with chloroplast proteins to influence viral replication and movement, and plant defense. By contrast, clear examples are just now emerging for chloroplast-targeted effectors from fungal and oomycete pathogens. In this review, we first present a brief overview of chloroplast contributions to plant defense and then discuss examples of connections between fungal interactions with plants and chloroplast function. We then briefly consider well-characterized bacterial effectors that target chloroplasts as a prelude to discussing the evidence for fungal effectors that impact chloroplast activities.

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