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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

The Xanthomonas effector XopJ triggers a conditional hypersensitive response upon treatment of N. benthamiana leaves with salicylic acid

Uestuen, Suayib; Bartetzko, Verena; Boernke, Frederik


XopJ is a Xanthomonas type III effector protein that promotes bacterial virulence on susceptible pepper plants through the inhibition of the host cell proteasome and a resultant suppression of salicylic acid (SA) - dependent defense responses. We show here that Nicotiana benthamiana leaves transiently expressing XopJ display hypersensitive response (HR) -like symptoms when exogenously treated with SA. This apparent avirulence function of XopJ was further dependent on effector myristoylation as well as on an intact catalytic triad, suggesting a requirement of its enzymatic activity for HR-like symptom elicitation. The ability of XopJ to cause a HR-like symptom development upon SA treatment was lost upon silencing of SGT1 and NDR1, respectively, but was independent of EDS1 silencing, suggesting that XopJ is recognized by an R protein of the CC-NBS-LRR class. Furthermore, silencing of NPR1 abolished the elicitation of HR-like symptoms in XopJ expressing leaves after SA application. Measurement of the proteasome activity indicated that proteasome inhibition by XopJ was alleviated in the presence of SA, an effect that was not observed in NPR1 silenced plants. Our results suggest that XopJ - triggered HR-like symptoms are closely related to the virulence function of the effector and that XopJ follows a two-signal model in order to elicit a response in the non-host plant N. benthamiana.


Xanthomonas; type-III effector; XopJ; avirulence; salicylic acid

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2015, Volume: 6, article number: 599

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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