The age of effectors: Genome-based discovery and applications

Hesham A.Y. Gibriel, Bart P.H.J. Thomma, Michael F. Seidl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial pathogens cause devastating diseases on economically and ecologically important plant species, threatening global food security, and causing billions of dollars of losses annually. During the infection process, pathogens secrete so-called effectors that support host colonization, often by deregulating host immune responses. Over the last decades, much of the research on molecular plant-microbe interactions has focused on the identification and functional characterization of such effectors. The increasing availability of sequenced plant pathogen genomes has enabled genomicsbased discovery of effector candidates. Nevertheless, identification of full plant pathogen effector repertoires is often hampered by erroneous gene annotation and the localization effector genes in genomic regions that are notoriously difficult to assemble. Here, we argue that recent advances in genome sequencing technologies, genome assembly, gene annotation, as well as effector identification methods hold promise to disclose complete and correct effector repertoires. This allows to exploit complete effector repertoires, and knowledge of their diversity within pathogen populations, to develop durable and sustainable resistance breeding strategies, disease control, and management of plant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1212
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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