The molecular dialog between oomycete effectors and their plant and animal hosts

Marcia Saraiva, Magdalena E. Ściślak, Yerisf Torres Ascurra, Tatiana Martí Ferrando, Nikola Zic, Cyril Henard, Pieter van West, Franziska Trusch, Vivianne G.A.A. Vleeshouwers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oomycetes form a phylogenetically distinct group of eukaryotic microorganisms that include some of the most notorious pathogens of plants and animals. Through the deployment of a remarkably diverse array of effector proteins, oomycete pathogens succeed to overcome host defences and cause infection. Effectors can operate extracellularly or enter living cells where they target diverse subcellular compartments. Genome sequence information indicates that oomycetes express several hundred host-translocating effectors potentially targeting a myriad of host processes. To counteract, plants rely on a wide variety of extra- and intracellular immune receptors facilitating pattern-triggered and effector-triggered immunity, respectively. Similarly, effectors from animal pathogenic oomycetes also target host immune response pathways, which in turn causes the activation of the humoral and adaptive immune system. In this review, we compare plant and animal pathogenic oomycete effectors regarding their type, function, genetic diversity, as well as host responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100289
Number of pages20
JournalFungal Biology Reviews
Early online date29 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by European Union's HORIZON 2020 Research programme under the Grant Agreement no. 766048 “PROTECTA”, University of Aberdeen (PvW), Wageningen University and Research (VGAAV) , the BBSRC [ BB/P020224/1 , BB/M026566/1 (MS, PvW)], Newton Fund GRP Aquaculture [ BB/N005058/1 (PvW)], and the Peruvian Council for science, technology and technological innovation (CONCYTEC) FONDECYT contract 129–2017 .


  • Animal pathogen
  • Apoplastic effector
  • Cytoplasmic effector
  • Effector
  • Host defence
  • Host-microbe interaction
  • Oomycete
  • Plant pathogen
  • RXLR


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