What is it about?

In contrast to many other nightshade species, tomatoes contain an immune receptor that enables them to perceive a broad spectrum of Xanthomonas TAL effectors (TALEs). Since this TALE-specific immune receptor is present across all tomato accessions, it has been difficult to study the virulence function of TALEs in tomato. Using CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis we generated tomatoes that no longer recognize TALEs and that can now be used to study the in planta function of TALEs in the nightshade model plant tomato.

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Why is it important?

We also uncovered TALE-induced immune reactions that do not correlate with a visible cell death response, which in the past has been considered as a hallmark for effective plant immune reactions. These findings might inspire follow-up studies to find immune reactions that rely on the suppression of effector virulence function, rather than the presence of cell death phenotypes.


Tomato is the plant model system within Solanaceous plants and is very amenable to CRISPR/Cas9-mutagenesis. We anticipate that these newly generated tomato mutants, which lack a functional TALE-sensing system, will provide a useful tool for the scientific community to genetically dissect the in planta function of TALEs.

Kyrylo Schenstnyi
Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The tomato resistance gene Bs4 suppresses leaf watersoaking phenotypes induced by AvrHah1 , a transcription activator‐like effector from tomato‐pathogenic xanthomonads, New Phytologist, September 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nph.18456.
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