A review of type III effectors (T3 effectors) from strains of Xanthomonas reveals a growing list of candidate and known effectors based on functional assays and sequence and structural similarity searches of genomic data. We propose that the effectors and suspected effectors should be distributed into 39 so-called Xop groups reflecting sequence similarity. Some groups have structural motifs for putative enzymatic functions, and recent studies have provided considerable insight into the interaction with host factors in their function as mediators of virulence and elicitors of resistance for a few specific T3 effectors. Many groups are related to T3 effectors of plant and animal pathogenic bacteria, and several groups appear to have been exploited primarily by Xanthomonas species based on available data. At the same time, a relatively large number of candidate effectors remain to be examined in more detail with regard to their function within host cells.
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