LOCALIZER: Subcellular localization prediction of both plant and effector proteins in the plant cell

Jana Sperschneider, Ann Maree Catanzariti, Kathleen Deboer, Benjamin Petre, Donald M. Gardiner, Karam B. Singh, Peter N. Dodds, Jennifer M. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Citations (Scopus)


Pathogens secrete effector proteins and many operate inside plant cells to enable infection. Some effectors have been found to enter subcellular compartments by mimicking host targeting sequences. Although many computational methods exist to predict plant protein subcellular localization, they perform poorly for effectors. We introduce LOCALIZER for predicting plant and effector protein localization to chloroplasts, mitochondria, and nuclei. LOCALIZER shows greater prediction accuracy for chloroplast and mitochondrial targeting compared to other methods for 652 plant proteins. For 107 eukaryotic effectors, LOCALIZER outperforms other methods and predicts a previously unrecognized chloroplast transit peptide for the ToxA effector, which we show translocates into tobacco chloroplasts. Secretome-wide predictions and confocal microscopy reveal that rust fungi might have evolved multiple effectors that target chloroplasts or nuclei. LOCALIZER is the first method for predicting effector localisation in plants and is a valuable tool for prioritizing effector candidates for functional investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44598
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017


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