Fast Evolution and Lineage-Specific Gene Family Expansions of Aphid Salivary Effectors Driven by Interactions with Host-Plants

Abstract : Effector proteins play crucial roles in plant-parasite interactions by suppressing plant defenses and hijacking plant physiological responses to facilitate parasite invasion and propagation. Although effector proteins have been characterized in many microbial plant pathogens, their nature and role in adaptation to host plants are largely unknown in insect herbivores. Aphids rely on salivary effector proteins injected into the host plants to promote phloem sap uptake. Therefore, gaining insight into the repertoire and evolution of aphid effectors is key to unveiling the mechanisms responsible for aphid virulence and host plant specialization. With this aim in mind, we assembled catalogues of putative effectors in the legume specialist aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, using transcriptomics and proteomics approaches. We identified 3,603 candidate effector genes predicted to be expressed in A. pisum salivary glands (SGs), and 740 of which displayed up-regulated expression in SGs in comparison to the alimentary tract. A search for orthologs in 17 arthropod genomes revealed that SG-up-regulated effector candidates of A. pisum are enriched in aphid-specific genes and tend to evolve faster compared with the whole gene set. We also found that a large fraction of proteins detected in the A. pisum saliva belonged to three gene families, of which certain members show evidence consistent with positive selection. Overall, this comprehensive analysis suggests that the large repertoire of effector candidates in A. pisum constitutes a source of novelties promoting plant adaptation to legumes.
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Hélène Boulain, Fabrice Legeai, Endrick Guy, Stéphanie Morliere, Nadine Douglas, et al.. Fast Evolution and Lineage-Specific Gene Family Expansions of Aphid Salivary Effectors Driven by Interactions with Host-Plants. Genome Biology and Evolution, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2018, 10 (6), pp.1554-1572. ⟨10.1093/gbe/evy097⟩. ⟨hal-01891942⟩

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