Inoculation of Malus genotypes with a set of Erwinia amylovora strains indicates a gene-for-gene relationship between the effector gene eop1 and both Malus floribunda 821 and Malus ‘Evereste’
The Gram-negative bacterium Erwinia amylovora, causal agent of fire blight disease in pome fruit trees, encodes a type three secretion system (T3SS) that translocates effector proteins into plant cells that collectively function to suppress host defences and enable pathogenesis. Until now, there has only been limited knowledge about the interaction of effector proteins and host resistance presented in several wild Malus species. This study tested disease responses in several Malus wild species with a set of effector deletion mutant strains and several highly virulent E. amylovora strains, which are assumed to influence the host resistance response of fire blight-resistant Malus species. The findings confirm earlier studies that deletion of the T3SS abolished virulence of the pathogen. Furthermore, a new gene-for-gene relationship was established between the effector protein Eop1 and the fire blight resistant ornamental apple cultivar Evereste and the wild species Malus floribunda 821. The results presented here provide new insights into the host–pathogen interactions between Malus sp. and E. amylovora.
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