The Puccinia striiformis effector Hasp98 facilitates pathogenicity by blocking the kinase activity of wheat TaMAPK4
Jinping Wei, Xiaodong Wang, Zeyu Hu, Xiaojie Wang, Jialiu Wang, Jianfeng Wang, Xueling Huang, Zhensheng Kang and Chunlei Tang
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology
The obligate biotrophic fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) employs virulence effectors to disturb host immunity and causes devastating stripe rust disease. However, our understanding of how Pst effectors regulate host defense responses remains limited. In this study, we determined that the Pst effector Hasp98, which is highly expressed in Pst haustoria, inhibits plant immune responses triggered by flg22 or non-pathogenic bacteria. Overexpression of Hasp98 in wheat (Triticum aestivum) suppressed avirulent Pst-triggered immunity, leading to decreased H2 O2 accumulation and promoting P. striiformis infection, whereas stable silencing of Hasp98 impaired P. striiformis pathogenicity. Hasp98 interacts with the wheat mitogen-activated protein kinase TaMAPK4, a positive regulator of plant resistance to stripe rust. The conserved TEY motif of TaMAPK4 is important for its kinase activity, which is required for the resistance function. We demonstrate that Hasp98 inhibits the kinase activity of TaMAPK4 and that the stable silencing of TaMAPK4 compromises wheat resistance against P. striiformis. These results suggest that Hasp98 acts as a virulence effector to interfere with the MAPK signaling pathway in wheat, thereby promoting P. striiformis infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.