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Plant pathogens and parasites use multiple virulence factors to successfully infect plants. While most plant-pathogen interaction studies focus on pathogen effectors and their functions in suppressing plant immunity or interfering with normal cellular processes, other virulence factors likely also contribute. Here we highlight another important strategy used by pathogens to promote virulence: secretion of mimics of host molecules, including peptides, phytohormones, and small RNAs, which play diverse roles in plant development and stress responses. Pathogen-secreted mimics hijack the host endogenous signaling pathways, thereby modulating host cellular functions to the benefit of the pathogen and promoting infection. Understanding the mechanisms of pathogen-secreted host mimics will expand our knowledge of host-pathogen coevolution and interactions, while providing new targets for plant disease control. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dousheng Wu, Lifeng Wang, Yong Zhang, Lianyang Bai, Feng Yu. Emerging roles of pathogen-secreted host mimics in plant disease development. Trends in parasitology. 2021 Dec;37(12):1082-1095

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PMID: 34627670

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