DOI: 10.1111/pbi.14166 ISSN:

A fungal CFEM‐containing effector targets NPR1 regulator NIMIN2 to suppress plant immunity

Shengping Shang, Guangli Liu, Song Zhang, Xiaofei Liang, Rong Zhang, Guangyu Sun
  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology


Colletotrichum fructicola causes a broad range of plant diseases worldwide and secretes many candidate proteinous effectors during infection, but it remains largely unknown regarding their effects in conquering plant immunity. Here, we characterized a novel effector CfEC12 that is required for the virulence of C. fructicola. CfEC12 contains a CFEM domain and is highly expressed during the early stage of host infection. Overexpression of CfEC12 suppressed BAX‐triggered cell death, callose deposition and ROS burst in Nicotiana benthamiana. CfEC12 interacted with apple MdNIMIN2, a NIM1‐interacting (NIMIN) protein that putatively modulates NPR1 activity in response to SA signal. Transient expression and transgenic analyses showed that MdNIMIN2 was required for apple resistance to C. fructicola infection and rescued the defence reduction in NbNIMIN2‐silenced N. benthamiana, supporting a positive role in plant immunity. CfEC12 and MdNPR1 interacted with a common region of MdNIMIN2, indicating that CfEC12 suppresses the interaction between MdNIMIN2 and MdNPR1 by competitive target binding. In sum, we identified a fungal effector that targets the plant salicylic acid defence pathway to promote fungal infection.

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