Soil-borne cyst nematodes are obligatory sedentary parasites that cause severe losses to cultivation of major crops such as potato and soybean. Cyst nematodes establish specialised permanent feeding sites within the roots of their host by manipulating plant morphology and physiology through secreted effectors. Here we identified host targets of effector GpRbp-1 and studied their roles in plant-nematode interactions. GpRbp-1 was found to interact in yeast and in planta with the potato and Arabidopsis homologues of Siz/PIAS-type E3 SUMO ligase SIZ1. Our results show that a pathogen effector targets the master regulator SIZ1 in plant cells, which has not been demonstrated earlier to our knowledge. The interaction of GpRbp-1 and SIZ1 localizes to the plant nucleus, suggesting that the nuclear functions of SIZ1 as regulator of plant immunity and physiology may be modulated by GpRbp-1. Furthermore, nematode infection assays and transcriptomic profiling indicate that SIZ1 is required for susceptibility to cyst nematodes. So, these data indicate that E3 SUMO ligases may play an important role in plant-nematode interactions. Based on the prediction of SUMO acceptor and interaction sites in GpRbp-1, a model is proposed in which the effector may recruit SIZ1 to be SUMOylated for full functionality in host cells.