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The secretome of Verticillium dahliae in collusion with plant defence responses modulates Verticillium wilt symptoms.

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Verticillium dahliae is a notorious soil-borne pathogen that enters hosts through the roots and proliferates in the plant water-conducting elements to cause Verticillium wilt. Historically, Verticillium wilt symptoms have been explained by vascular occlusion, due to the accumulation of mycelia and plant biomacromolecule aggregation, and also by phytotoxicity caused by pathogen-secreted toxins. Beyond the direct cytotoxicity of some members of the secretome, this review systematically discusses the roles of the V. dahliae secretome in vascular occlusion, including the deposition of polysaccharides as an outcome of plant cell wall destruction, the accumulation of fungal mycelia, and modulation of plant defence responses. By modulating plant defences and hormone levels, the secretome manipulates the vascular environment to induce Verticillium wilt. Thus, the secretome of V. dahliae colludes with plant defence responses to modulate Verticillium wilt symptoms, and thereby bridges the historical concepts of both toxin production by the pathogen and vascular occlusion as the cause of wilting symptoms.

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