AbstractIncreasing evidence is proving the biological significance of the phytoplasma-secreted proteins. However, besides a few Sec-dependent secretory proteins, no other phytoplasma-secreted proteins have been reported yet. Candidatus Phytoplasma ziziphi is a phytoplasma that causes witches’-broom, a devastating jujube disease prevalent in east Asia. In this study, using the SecretomeP server coupled with an Escherichia coli-based alkaline phosphatase assay, we identified 25 non-classically secreted proteins (ncSecPs) from Ca. P. ziziphi, a novel type of secreted protein associated with phytoplasmas. Among them, six were characterized as hypersensitive cell death response (HR) suppressors that significantly attenuated both Bax- and INF1-triggered HR and H2O2 accumulation in Nicotiana benthamiana, indicating a so-far unknown role of the phytoplasma-secreted proteins. Further, we demonstrated that despite the diverse subcellular localizations in the N. benthamiana cells, the six HR-suppressing ncSecPs enhanced the gene expression of several known cell death inhibitors, including pathogenesis-related proteins (NbPR-1, NbPR-2, and NbPR-5) and Bax inhibitor-1 (NbBI-1 and NbBI-2). Together, our data indicated that Ca. P. ziziphi has evolved an arsenal of ncSecPs that jointly circumvent HR by activating the plant cell death inhibitors, thus providing new insight into understanding the pathogenesis of phytoplasmas.