Date of this Version
2017 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam) causes cassava bacterial blight, the most important bacterial disease of cassava. Xam, like other Xanthomonas species, requires type III effectors (T3Es) for maximal virulence. Xam strain CIO151 possesses 17 predicted T3Es belonging to the Xanthomonas outer protein (Xop) class. This work aimed to characterize nine Xop effectors present in Xam CIO151 for their role in virulence and modulation of plant immunity. Our findings demonstrate the importance of XopZ, XopX, XopAO1 and AvrBs2 for full virulence, as well as a redundant function in virulence between XopN and XopQ in susceptible cassava plants. We tested their role in pathogenassociated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI) using heterologous systems. AvrBs2, XopR and XopAO1 are capable of suppressing PTI. ETI suppression activity was only detected for XopE4 and XopAO1. These results demonstrate the overall importance and diversity in functions of major virulence effectors AvrBs2 and XopAO1 in Xam during cassava infection.