Link to home

The Fusarium oxysporum Effector Six6 Contributes to Virulence and Suppresses I-2-Mediated Cell Death

April 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  4
Pages  336 - 348

F. Gawehns, P. M. Houterman, F. Ait Ichou, C. B. Michielse, M. Hijdra, B. J. C. Cornelissen, M. Rep, and F. L. W. Takken

University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science, SILS, Molecular Plant Pathology, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam

Go to article:
Accepted 18 November 2013.

Plant pathogens secrete effectors to manipulate their host and facilitate colonization. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici is the causal agent of Fusarium wilt disease in tomato. Upon infection, F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici secretes numerous small proteins into the xylem sap (Six proteins). Most Six proteins are unique to F. oxysporum, but Six6 is an exception; a homolog is also present in two Colletotrichum spp. SIX6 expression was found to require living host cells and a knockout of SIX6 in F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici compromised virulence, classifying it as a genuine effector. Heterologous expression of SIX6 did not affect growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves or susceptibility of Arabidopsis thaliana toward Verticillium dahliae, Pseudomonas syringae, or F. oxysporum, suggesting a specific function for F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici Six6 in the F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici– tomato pathosystem. Remarkably, Six6 was found to specifically suppress I-2-mediated cell death (I2CD) upon transient expression in N. benthamiana, whereas it did not compromise the activity of other cell-death-inducing genes. Still, this I2CD suppressing activity of Six6 does not allow the fungus to overcome I-2 resistance in tomato, suggesting that I-2-mediated resistance is independent from cell death.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society