Phytoplasma effector proteins devastate host plants through molecular mimicry

‘Our group has been studying the proteins that are targeted by the phytoplasma effector proteins for almost 30 years,’ said Günter Theißen, one of the scientists involved in the study. ‘In our latest research, based on just few data and some simple assumptions, we predicted the structure of the respective effector protein (termed SAP54) about 5 years ago. With the new work, we tested our hypothesis experimentally, and found that our prediction was quite accurate.’