Arabidopsis late blight: infection of a nonhost plant by Albugo laibachii enables full colonization by Phytophthora infestans.
The oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans causes potato late blight, and as a potato and tomato specialist pathogen, is seemingly poorly adapted to infect plants outside the Solanaceae. Here, we report the unexpected finding that P. infestans can infect Arabidopsis thaliana when another oomycete pathogen, Albugo laibachii, has colonized the host plant. The behaviour and speed of P. infestans infection in Arabidopsis pre-infected with A. laibachii resemble P. infestans infection of susceptible potato plants. Transcriptional profiling of P. infestans genes during infection revealed a significant overlap in the sets of secreted-protein genes that are induced in P. infestans upon colonization of potato and susceptible Arabidopsis, suggesting major similarities in P. infestans gene expression dynamics on the two plant species. Furthermore, we found haustoria of A. laibachii and P. infestans within the same Arabidopsis cells. This Arabidopsis-A. laibachii-P. infestans tripartite interaction opens up various possibilities to dissect the molecular mechanisms of P. infestans infection and the processes occurring in co-infected Arabidopsis cells.