Novel Stripe Rust Effector Boosts the Transcription of a Host Susceptibility Factor Through Affecting Histone Modification to Promote Infection in Whe
Published:31 Oct.2023    Source:New Phytologist

Regulation of host gene expression to promote disease is a common strategy for plant pathogens. However, it remains unclear whether or not fungal pathogens manipulate host gene expression directly through secreted effectors with transcriptional activity.

Here, we identified a fungal effector PstGTA1 from Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), which has partial homology to the subunit of global transcriptional activator SNF2 from oyster. The transcriptional activating activity of PstGTA1 was validated in yeast, and the potential role of PstGTA1 in pathogenicity was assessed using gene silenced and overexpression transgenic wheat plants. Candidate targets regulated by PstGTA1 were screened by transcriptomic analysis, and the specific promoter region binding to PstGTA1 was further determined.
PstGTA1 can be delivered to the wheat cell nucleus and contributes to the full virulence of Pst by targeting the promoter of TaSIG, a gene negatively regulating wheat immunity, and possibly activates its transcription by affecting the histone H3K4 acetylation level. Our study provides the first direct evidence for a fungal effector with transactivation activity modulating the transcription of a host specific susceptibility gene through promoter binding and histone acetylation.