Molecular Plant Pathology

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 8

Edited By: Marty Dickman

Impact Factor: 4.335

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 16/209 (Plant Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1364-3703

Associated Title(s): Plant Pathology

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Pyramiding effector binding elements to achieve broad-spectrum resistance against Xanthomonas

Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. citri (Xcc), is a devastating disease that limits citrus production worldwide and no resistance (R) gene is available in citrus against infections. Xanthomonas species inject transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors that modulate transcription of host genes by directly binding to the effector binding element (EBE) in the promoter region. In the paper An engineered promoter driving expression of a microbial avirulence gene confers recognition of TAL effectors and reduces growth of diverse Xanthomonas strains in citrus Shantharaj et al. showed that a synthetic promoter with different EBEs transcriptionally activated the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene in response to TAL effectors from multiple Xcc strains. As a proof-of-principle, the GUS reporter gene was replaced with the avirulence (avr) gene avrGf1 under the control of this synthetic promoter. Interestingly, it triggered potent resistant responses when transiently expressed in citrus in response to multiple Xcc strains carrying different TAL effectors that recognize the cognate EBEs in the promoter. Though we await details on the further optimization required for developing stable transgenic plants, the work certainly provides further insights into an alternative strategy for pathogen-induced resistance against diverse Xanthomonas strains via pyramiding EBEs to induce the expression of an R gene, or avr gene in this case, in planta to achieve broad-spectrum resistance.

Pyramiding EBEs to achieve broad-spectrum resistance

Figure: Pyramiding EBEs to achieve broad-spectrum resistance. Most xanthomonads use the type III secretion system (T3SS) to deliver TAL effectors into plant cells. These modulate host gene transcription by directly binding to the EBE in the promoter region. Under the control of a synthetic promoter that possesses multiple EBEs recognized by corresponding TAL effectors, an avr gene can be expressed in planta as a transgene to trigger R gene-mediated plant disease resistance against diverse Xanthomonas strains carrying the matching TAL effectors.

Text and figure courtesy of Kevin L. Cox Jr. and Libo Shan, Texas A&M University, USA

Opinion Pieces

Molecular Plant Pathology is now publishing Opinion Piece articles. These new pieces are intended to serve as a forum for healthy discussion and debate on molecular plant science, both within the journal's scope, and on broader topics beyond the research described in Molecular Plant Pathology.

Read the Editorial by Marty Dickman (Editor in Chief) on the new article format, and see here a list of all Opinion Piece articles from the journal, all free to read.

Key Journal Features

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  • Average time from submission to first decision is 24 days!
  • In 2015, Molecular Plant Pathology will move to online only publication
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News and Announcements

Challenges in Bacterial Molecular Plant Pathology

Molecular Plant Pathology is pleased to announce the addition of a new series of review articles to the journal: Challenges in Bacterial Molecular Plant Pathology.

Written by leading scientists, these review articles will cover a broad range of topics spanning ecology and evolution, genetics, metabolomics and genomics, and novel approaches to disease control.

Through these articles, authors are encouraged to set out the current challenges facing them in their research and in turn provide new perspectives.

Read the background to this new series in Senior Editor, Robert Jackson’ s Editorial:

Throwing down the gauntlet for molecular plant pathology in the 21st Century – what are the new challenges for bacterial research?

The following review articles are now available and FREE to read:

Bacterial pathogenesis of plants: future challenges from a microbial perspective

Bacterial disease management: challenges, experience, innovation and future prospects

Top 10 Reviews

Our Top 10 series of Reviews have combined into a virtual issue. All of them are free to download. Each Review has also been converted into free A0-size (ANSI size E) poster, ideal for the office or laboratory wall.

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