Most Gram-negative phytopathogenic bacteria are thought to inject effector proteins into the plant cell via a type III secretion system that is essential for pathogenicity. Plant targets and the mode of action of type III effector proteins, which include avirulence (Avr) proteins, are largely unknown. However, recent findings have shed light on the molecular mechanisms of Avr action. Here, we focus on two classes of Avr proteins (the AvrBs3 and AvrRxv/YopJ families) that have been suggested to act as transcription factors and proteases, respectively.
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