Oomycetes are responsible for multi-billion dollar damages in aquaculture, agriculture and forestry. One common strategy they share with most cellular disease agents is the secretion of effector proteins. Effectors are molecules that change host physiology by initiating and allowing an infection to develop. Oomycetes secrete both extracellular and intracellular effectors. Studying secretion, delivery and function of effectors will hopefully lead to alternative control measures, which is much needed as several chemicals to control plant and animal pathogenic oomycetes cannot be used anymore; due to resistance in the host, or because the control measures have been prohibited as a result of toxicity to the environment and/or consumers. Here the latest findings on oomycete effector secretion, delivery and function are discussed.
Stephan Wawra, Rodrigo Belmonte, Lars Löbach, Marcia Saraiva, Ariane Willems, Pieter van West