The Botrytis cinerea Crh1 transglycosylase is a cytoplasmic effector triggering plant cell death and defense response

Kai Bi, Loredana Scalschi, Namrata Jaiswal, Tesfaye Mengiste, Renana Fried, Ana Belén Sanz, Javier Arroyo, Wenjun Zhu, Gal Masrati, Amir Sharon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Crh proteins catalyze crosslinking of chitin and glucan polymers in fungal cell walls. Here, we show that the BcCrh1 protein from the phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea acts as a cytoplasmic effector and elicitor of plant defense. BcCrh1 is localized in vacuoles and the endoplasmic reticulum during saprophytic growth. However, upon plant infection, the protein accumulates in infection cushions; it is then secreted to the apoplast and translocated into plant cells, where it induces cell death and defense responses. Two regions of 53 and 35 amino acids are sufficient for protein uptake and cell death induction, respectively. BcCrh1 mutant variants that are unable to dimerize lack transglycosylation activity, but are still able to induce plant cell death. Furthermore, Arabidopsis lines expressing the bccrh1 gene exhibit reduced sensitivity to B. cinerea, suggesting a potential use of the BcCrh1 protein in plant immunization against this necrotrophic pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2166
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

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