Botrytis cinerea BcPTP1 is a late infection phase, cysteine rich protein cytotoxic effector
Posted 19 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.18.452873
Posted 19 Jul 2021
Botrytis cinerea is a broad-host-range necrotrophic phytopathogen responsible for serious crops diseases. To facilitate infection, B. cinerea secretes a large number of effectors that induce plant cell death. In screening secretome data of B. cinerea during infection stage, we identified a phytotoxic protein (BcPTP1) that can also induce immune resistance in plants. BcPTP1 is a small (90 aa), cysteine rich protein without any known domains. Transiently expression of BcPTP1 in leaves caused chlorosis that intensifies with time and eventually lead to cell death. Point mutations in eight of the 10 cysteine residues of BcPTP1 abolished the toxic effect, however residual toxic activity remained after heating the peptide, suggesting contribution of unknown epitopes to protein phytotoxic effect. The transcript level of the bcptp1 gene was low during the first 36 h after inoculation and increased sharply upon transition to the late infection stage, suggesting a role of BcPTP1 in lesion spreading. While statistically insignificant, deletion of the bcptp1 gene led to slightly smaller lesions on bean leaves. Further analyses indicated that BcPTP1 is internalized into plant cells after secreting into the apoplast and its phytotoxic effect is negatively regulated by the receptor-like kinases BAK1 and SOBIR1. Collectively, our findings show that BcPTP1 is a virulence factor that toxifies the host cells and facilitates lesion spreading during the late infection stage.
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