Lin, B., Zhuo, K., Chen, S., Hu, L., Sun, L., Wang, X., Zhang, L.-H. and Liao, J. (2016), A novel nematode effector suppresses plant immunity by activating host reactive oxygen species-scavenging system. New Phytologist, 209: 1159–1173. doi: 10.1111/nph.13701
Evidence is emerging that plant-parasitic nematodes can secrete effectors to interfere with the host immune response, but it remains unknown how these effectors can conquer host immune responses. Here, we depict a novel effector, MjTTL5, that could suppress plant immune response.
Immunolocalization and transcriptional analyses showed that MjTTL5 is expressed specifically within the subventral gland of Meloidogyne javanica and up-regulated in the early parasitic stage of the nematode. Transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing MjTTL5 were significantly more susceptible to M. javanica infection than wild-type plants, and vice versa, in planta silencing of MjTTL5 substantially increased plant resistance to M. javanica.
Yeast two-hybrid, coimmunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescent complementation assays showed that MjTTL5 interacts specifically with Arabidopsis ferredoxin : thioredoxin reductase catalytic subunit (AtFTRc), a key component of host antioxidant system. The expression of AtFTRc is induced by the infection of M. javanica. Interaction between AtFTRc and MjTTL could drastically increase host reactive oxygen species-scavenging activity, and result in suppression of plant basal defenses and attenuation of host resistance to the nematode infection.
Our results demonstrate that the host ferredoxin : thioredoxin system can be exploited cunningly by M. javanica, revealing a novel mechanism utilized by plant–parasitic nematodes to subjugate plant innate immunity and thereby promoting parasitism.