Vesicle trafficking including the exocytosis pathway is intimately associated with host immunity against pathogens. However, we still have insufficient knowledge about how it contributes to immunity, and how pathogen factors affect it. In this study, we explore host factors that interact with the Magnaporthe oryzae effector AVR-Pii. Gel filtration chromatography and co-immunoprecipitation assays identified a 150 kDa complex of proteins in the soluble fraction comprising AVR-Pii and OsExo70-F2 and OsExo70-F3, two rice Exo70 proteins presumably involved in exocytosis. Simultaneous knockdown of OsExo70-F2 and F3 totally abrogated Pii immune receptor-dependent resistance, but had no effect on Pia- and Pik-dependent resistance. Knockdown levels of OsExo70-F3 but not OsExo70-F2 correlated with reduction of Pii function, suggesting that OsExo70-F3 is specifically involved in Pii-dependent resistance. Under our current experimental conditions, over-expression of AVR-Pii or knockdown of OsExo70-F2 and -F3 genes in rice did not affect the virulence of compatible isolates of M. oryzae. AVR-Pii interaction with OsExo70-F3 appears to play a crucial role in immunity triggered by Pii, suggesting a role for OsExo70 as a decoy or helper in Pii/AVR-Pii interactions. Significance Statement In monocots, evidence for accessory proteins in effector-triggered immunity (ETI) is limited. We show that recognition of the Magnaporthe oryzae avirulence effector AVR-Pii mediated by the resistance (R) protein Pii is not direct, but requires an exocyst protein, Exo70, supporting Exo70 as either a "decoy" or a "helper".
- avirulence effector
- effector-triggered immunity