Archive for September, 2011

Reviews on Effectors

September 24th, 2011

Two new reviews on oomycete and fungal effectors:

both in Cellular Microbiology.

Image: Fig. 1C from Kale & Tyler: Assays for detecting pathogen-independent entry of effectors.


September 22nd, 2011


A Sneak Preview: ‘Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions’ book

September 17th, 2011

The book ‘Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions’

Edited by Sophien Kamoun and I, will be released by Wiley-Blackwell on January 2012:

A sneak preview …

Effectors are defined as molecules produced by bio-aggressors/pathogens/symbionts to manipulate their host plants, thereby facilitating infection (virulence or symbiotic factors, toxins, inhibitors) and/or triggering defense responses (avirulence factors, elicitors). This dual (and conflicting) activity of effectors has been broadly reported in many plant–microbial interactions. This research topic is actively investigated using a combination of approaches (genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology and developmental biology) and benefits from the recent advances in plant and microbial functional genomics and genome-wide evolutionary analyses. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years but many questions remain unanswered. The book aims to act as a catalyst for future research by bringing together a collection of contributions on plant–microbe interactions across a range of organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes) to identify and focus on these important questions. A book on this topic will be timely. It combines chapters by researchers involved in a diversity of plant-microbe systems that use biochemical, physiological, and developmental approaches as well as comparative genomics. Such a broad-ranging approach is providing a unique insight and a better understanding of the functions of this new class of proteins. Authors have been encouraged to discuss far reaching extensions of their current or past work and to propose cross-cutting research questions whenever possible.

Image: A great, arty photo from Sebastian Schornack (TSL) showing red fluorescent Phytophthora infestans colonizing its host. The central necrotrophic zone (in black) is surrounded by the biotrophic area (in fluo green).  The biotropic zone was caused by the action of effectors that suppressed the host responses.


Social network wants to sequence your gut

September 10th, 2011



The non-profit programme MyMicrobes, launched today, is inviting people to have their gut bacteria sequenced for about €1,500 (US$2,100). Read more