Xanthomonas Type III Effector XopD Desumoylates Tomato Transcription Factor SlERF4 to Suppress Ethylene Responses and Promote Pathogen Growth.
XopD, a type III secretion effector from Xanthomonas euvesicatoria (Xcv), the causal agent of bacterial spot of tomato, is required for pathogen growth and delay of host symptom development. XopD carries a C-terminal SUMO protease domain, a host range determining nonspecific DNA-binding domain and two EAR motifs typically found in repressors of stress-induced transcription. The precise target(s) and mechanism(s) of XopD are obscure. We report that XopD directly targets the tomato ethylene responsive transcription factor SlERF4 to suppress ethylene production, which is required for anti-Xcv immunity and symptom development. SlERF4 expression was required for Xcv ΔxopD-induced ethylene production and ethylene-stimulated immunity. XopD colocalized with SlERF4 in subnuclear foci and catalyzed SUMO1 hydrolysis from lysine 53 of SlERF4, causing SlERF4 destabilization. Mutation of lysine 53 prevented SlERF4 sumoylation, decreased SlERF4 levels, and reduced SlERF4 transcription. These data suggest that XopD desumoylates SlERF4 to repress ethylene-induced transcription required for anti-Xcv immunity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.