Unveiling the Molecular Arsenal: Identification and Characterization of Sphaerulina musiva Effectors Targeting Populus Genotypes

The availability of sequenced genomes of many agriculturally and commercially important plant species and their disease-causing pathogenic partners is growing. In parallel, there have been several advancements in bioinformatic tools available to predict not only effector proteins (Sperschneider and Dodds 2022) in pathogens but also their targets in host plants from genomic and transcriptomic information (Seong and Krasileva 2023). This wealth of information and tools is leading to the rapid discovery of new effector proteins (Homma et al. 2023; Zhang et al. 2023). However, it is extremely important to experimentally test these predictions both in vitro and in vivo to get meaningful outcomes. Experimental validation will in turn help in the development of better prediction tools.