Phytophthora are a genus of microbial, filamentous eukaryotes that morphologically resemble fungi but belong to the Oomycete class. Phytophthora species include some of the most destructive pathogens of plants, including many economically important crops and forest species. They represent one of the biggest threats to worldwide food security and natural ecosystems. Phytophthora are notorious for secreting large arsenals of effector proteins which facilitate infection by degrading host cell components, exploiting host nutrients, dampening host immune responses and inducing necrosis. Compared to other taxonomic groups, there is a paucity of OMICs data available to study Phytophthora species. To this end, we have used an LC-MS/MS strategy to perform the first large-scale profiling of the secretomes of three Phytophthora species that are an increasing threat to global forest ecosystems: Ph. chlamydospora, Ph. gonapodyides and Ph. pseudosyringae. Together, Ph. gonapodyides and Ph. chlamydospor are present the two most widespread Phytophthora species, having been found in a wide range of habitats globally. Ph. pseudosyringae has been identified as the cause of oak and beech decline across Europe and America. Here, we use mass spectrometry to characterise the secretome of these Phytophthora species by identifying proteins secreted into different growth media. We detect a number of important effector families including proteins involved in the breakdown of plant cell wall carbohydrates (CAZymes) and toxin families such as necrosis-inducing proteins. Our results provide important insights into understanding the molecular mechanisms of Phytophthora infection.

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