How to win a tug-of-war: the adaptive evolution of Phytophthora effectors

Suomeng Dong, Wenbo Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The ‘zigzag’ model formulates some of the fundamental principles underpinning the dynamic interactions between pathogen effectors and plant immunity. As key virulence factors, effectors often exhibit a pattern of rapid evolution, presumably as a result of the host-pathogen arms race. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of mechanisms that may accelerate effector evolution in the highly successful Phytophthora pathogens. Recent findings on epigenetic regulation of effector genes that allows evasion of host recognition and maintenance of cost/benefit balance, and a conserved structural unit in effector proteins that may promote the evolution of virulence activities are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102027
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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