Plett, J. M. et al., 2011. Effectors in Plant-Microbes Interactions

Mutualistic Effectors: Architects of Symbiosis

Jonathan M. Plett and Francis Martin
02 November 2011, in Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions, pages 295-326; doi: 10.1002/9781119949138.ch12


In natural ecosystems no organism functions in isolation. Therefore, a true understanding of any one individual organism will come only through an understanding of how that organism interacts and reacts to all others within its ecosystem. One emerging model system is the study of the mutualistic symbiosis between soil-borne fungi (endo and ectomycorrhizal) and plants. In these interactions, fungi colonize plant roots and, in exchange for photosynthetically derived sugars, provide the plant with a wide variety of nutrients. In order to accommodate the fungal presence within their tissues, the roots of plants must undergo major restructuring. Secreted effectors of the fungus are key in orchestrating this renovation of root architecture. In this chapter we will outline how effector-like signals in the fungal secretome negotiate alterations to plant cell signaling and the chemistry and functionality of fungal and plant cell walls, as well as how fungal effectors re-structure the defense reaction of the plant cell in order to foster symbiosis. We will also briefly consider how effectors may regulate nutrient fluxes between partners.


Plett, J. M. and Martin, F. (2011) Mutualistic Effectors: Architects of Symbiosis, in Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions (eds F. Martin and S. Kamoun), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119949138.ch12