ResearchPad - plant-bacterial-pathogens https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[<i>Xylella fastidiosa</i> subsp. <i>pauca</i> and olive produced lipids moderate the switch adhesive versus non-adhesive state and <i>viceversa</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14717 Global trade and climate change are re-shaping the distribution map of pandemic pathogens. One major emerging concern is Xylella fastidiosa, a tropical bacterium recently introduced into Europe from America. In last decades, X. fastidiosa was detected in several European countries. X. fastidiosa is an insect vector-transmitted bacterial plant pathogen associated with severe diseases in a wide range of hosts. X. fastidiosa through a tight coordination of the adherent biofilm and the planktonic states, invades the host systemically. The planktonic phase is correlated to low cell density and vessel colonization. Increase in cell density triggers a quorum sensing system based on mixture of cis 2-enoic fatty acids—diffusible signalling factors (DSF) that promote stickiness and biofilm. The lipidome profile of Olea europaea L. (cv. Ogliarola salentina) samples, collected in groves located in infected zones and uninfected zones was performed. The untargeted analysis of the lipid profiles of Olive Quick Decline Syndrome (OQDS) positive (+) and negative (-) plants showed a clustering of OQDS+ plants apart from OQDS-. The targeted lipids profile of plants OQDS+ and OQDS- identified a shortlist of 10 lipids that increase their amount in OQDS+ and X. fastidiosa positive olive trees. These lipid entities, provided to X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca pure culture, impact on the dual phase, e.g. planktonic ↔ biofilm. This study provides novel insights on OQDS lipid hallmarks and on molecules that might modulate biofilm phase in X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca.

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<![CDATA[Sugarcane apoplast fluid modulates the global transcriptional profile of the diazotrophic bacteria Paraburkholderia tropica strain Ppe8]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b7ed5eed0c4846ebc6d

The stalk apoplast fluid of sugarcane contains different sugars, organic acids and amino acids that may supply the demand for carbohydrates by endophytic bacteria including diazotrophs P. tropica (syn. B. tropica) strain Ppe8, isolated from sugarcane, is part of the bacterial consortium recommended as inoculant to sugarcane. However, little information has been accumulated regarding this plant-bacterium interaction considering that it colonizes internal sugarcane tissues. Here, we made use of the RNA-Seq transcriptomic analysis to study the influence of sugarcane stalk apoplast fluid on Ppe8 gene expression. The bacterium was grown in JMV liquid medium (100 ml), divided equally and then supplemented with 50 ml of fresh JMV medium or 50 ml of apoplast fluid extracted from sugarcane variety RB867515. Total RNA was extracted 2 hours later, the rRNAs were depleted and mRNAs used to construct libraries to sequence the fragments using Ion Torrent technology. The mapping and statistical analysis were carried out with CLC Genomics Workbench software. The RNA-seq data was validated by RT-qPCR using the reference genes fliP1, paaF, and groL. The data analysis showed that 544 genes were repressed and 153 genes were induced in the presence of apoplast fluid. Genes that induce plant defense responses, genes related to chemotaxis and movements were repressed in the presence of apoplast fluid, indicating that strain Ppe8 recognizes the apoplast fluid as a plant component. The expression of genes involved in bacterial metabolism was regulated (up and down), suggesting that the metabolism of strain Ppe8 is modulated by the apoplast fluid. These results suggest that Ppe8 alters its gene expression pattern in the presence of apoplast fluid mainly in order to use compounds present in the fluid as well as to avoid the induction of plant defense mechanisms. This is a pioneer study showing the role played by the sugarcane apoplast fluid on the global modulation of genes in P. tropica strain Ppe8.

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<![CDATA[Functional characterization of unique enzymes in Xanthomonas euvesicatoria related to degradation of arabinofurano-oligosaccharides on hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0c04edd5eed0c48481d005

In this study, we clarified the functions of three uncharacterized enzymes, XCV2724, XCV2728, and XCV2729, in Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, the causal agent of bacterial spot of tomato and pepper. The genes corresponding to the three enzymes are homologs of hypBA1, hypBA2, and hypAA from Bifidobacterium longum and are unique to Xanthomonas spp. among plant pathogenic bacteria. Functional characterization of the recombinant enzymes expressed using microbial systems revealed that they degrade the arabinofurano-oligosaccharides present on hydroxyproline (Hyp)-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) such as extensin and solanaceous lectins in plant cell walls. These enzymes work coordinately to degrade the oligosaccharides. First, XeHypAA (XCV2728), belonging to the glycoside hydrolase (GH) 43 family, releases L-arabinose from L-arabinofuranose (Araf)-α1,3-Araf-ß1,2-Araf-ß1,2-Araf-ß-Hyp (Ara4-Hyp), cleaving its α1,3 bond; second, XeHypBA2 (XCV2729), belonging to the GH121 family, releases the disaccharide Araf-ß1,2-Araf from Araf-ß1,2-Araf-ß1,2-Araf-ß-Hyp (Ara3-Hyp); finally, XeHypBA1 (XCV2724), belonging to GH family 127, releases L-arabinose from Araf-ß-Hyp (Ara-Hyp). In summary, the main oligosaccharide structure of Ara4-Hyp on the HRGPs is degraded to Ara3-Hyp, then to Ara-Hyp, and finally to Ara monosaccharides by the action of these three enzymes. HRGPs containing oligosaccharide substrates have been reported to contribute to plant defense, and interestingly, the promoter region of the operon (xehypBA2 and xehypAA) contains the plant-inducible promoter box for binding the regulator protein HrpX involved in pathogenicity. We then analyzed the expression level of the operon gene in hrp-inducing medium and in plants and constructed gene-deletion mutants. However, although the operon was evidently upregulated by HrpX, three single-gene deletion mutants (ΔxehypBA1, ΔxehypBA2, ΔxehypAA) and even a triple-gene deletion mutant (ΔxehypBA1-BA2-AA) remained pathogenic, and had no effect on nonhost resistance, either, indicating that these three enzymes are not involved in either pathogenicity or nonhost resistance reactions. This is the first report of enzymes in plant pathogenic bacteria that catalyze the degradation of Hyp-linked-L-arabinofuranosides in plant cell walls.

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<![CDATA[Functional analysis of African Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae TALomes reveals a new susceptibility gene in bacterial leaf blight of rice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b5b4463d7e1340e24738

Most Xanthomonas species translocate Transcription Activator-Like (TAL) effectors into plant cells where they function like plant transcription factors via a programmable DNA-binding domain. Characterized strains of rice pathogenic X. oryzae pv. oryzae harbor 9–16 different tal effector genes, but the function of only a few of them has been decoded. Using sequencing of entire genomes, we first performed comparative analyses of the complete repertoires of TAL effectors, herein referred to as TALomes, in three Xoo strains forming an African genetic lineage different from Asian Xoo. A phylogenetic analysis of the three TALomes combined with in silico predictions of TAL effector targets showed that African Xoo TALomes are highly conserved, genetically distant from Asian ones, and closely related to TAL effectors from the bacterial leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc). Nine clusters of TAL effectors could be identified among the three TALomes, including three showing higher levels of variation in their repeat variable diresidues (RVDs). Detailed analyses of these groups revealed recombination events as a possible source of variation among TAL effector genes. Next, to address contribution to virulence, nine TAL effector genes from the Malian Xoo strain MAI1 and four allelic variants from the Burkinabe Xoo strain BAI3, thus representing most of the TAL effector diversity in African Xoo strains, were expressed in the TAL effector-deficient X. oryzae strain X11-5A for gain-of-function assays. Inoculation of the susceptible rice variety Azucena lead to the discovery of three TAL effectors promoting virulence, including two TAL effectors previously reported to target the susceptibility (S) gene OsSWEET14 and a novel major virulence contributor, TalB. RNA profiling experiments in rice and in silico prediction of EBEs were carried out to identify candidate targets of TalB, revealing OsTFX1, a bZIP transcription factor previously identified as a bacterial blight S gene, and OsERF#123, which encodes a subgroup IXc AP2/ERF transcription factor. Use of designer TAL effectors demonstrated that induction of either gene resulted in greater susceptibility to strain X11-5A. The induction of OsERF#123 by BAI3Δ1, a talB knockout derivative of BAI3, carrying these designer TAL effectors increased virulence of BAI3Δ1, validating OsERF#123 as a new, bacterial blight S gene.

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<![CDATA[Determining the Biochemical Properties of the Oxalate Biosynthetic Component (Obc)1 from Burkholderia mallei]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9e004

Oxalic acid is produced by a variety of organisms ranging from simple microbes to complex animals. This acid has been proposed to fulfill various physiological and pathological functions which vary between organisms. In bacteria from the Burkholderia genus, oxalate secretion has been shown to be quorum sensing dependent and to support pathogenicity and cell viability. In light of the critical roles of oxalate in Burkholderia as well as other organisms, it is surprising that our understanding of how this simple dicarboxylate is biosynthesized remains incomplete. Here we report the expression, purification, and partial characterization of the first intact bacterial oxalate biosynthetic enzyme, Obc1, from B. mallei. An N-terminal His-tagged Bmobc1 was cloned into pDUET, expressed in E. coli BLR (DE3), and the recombinant enzyme purified by affinity chromatography. Oxalate biosynthetic enzyme assays coupled with HPLC analysis revealed that BmObc1 catalyzed the biosynthesis of oxalate, acetoacetate, and free CoA from oxaloacetate and a short chain acyl-CoA following Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Optimal enzyme activity was measured at pH 8.0 and a temperature around 44°C. Kinetic analysis conducted under conditions of saturating acetyl-CoA and varying oxaloacetate concentrations resulted in a calculated Km value for oxaloacetate of 94.3± 9.2 μM (mean ± SE). Under conditions of saturating oxaloacetate concentration and varying acyl-CoA (acetyl- or propionyl-CoA) concentrations kinetic analysis generated a calculated Km value of 26.8 ± 2.3 μM (mean ± SE) for acetyl-CoA and 104.4 ± 12.7 μM for propionyl-CoA. The significantly lower Km for acetyl-CoA suggests that it is strongly favored as a substrate over propionyl-CoA.

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<![CDATA[Screen of Non-annotated Small Secreted Proteins of Pseudomonas syringae Reveals a Virulence Factor That Inhibits Tomato Immune Proteases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b69f3b

Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (PtoDC3000) is an extracellular model plant pathogen, yet its potential to produce secreted effectors that manipulate the apoplast has been under investigated. Here we identified 131 candidate small, secreted, non-annotated proteins from the PtoDC3000 genome, most of which are common to Pseudomonas species and potentially expressed during apoplastic colonization. We produced 43 of these proteins through a custom-made gateway-compatible expression system for extracellular bacterial proteins, and screened them for their ability to inhibit the secreted immune protease C14 of tomato using competitive activity-based protein profiling. This screen revealed C14-inhibiting protein-1 (Cip1), which contains motifs of the chagasin-like protease inhibitors. Cip1 mutants are less virulent on tomato, demonstrating the importance of this effector in apoplastic immunity. Cip1 also inhibits immune protease Pip1, which is known to suppress PtoDC3000 infection, but has a lower affinity for its close homolog Rcr3, explaining why this protein is not recognized in tomato plants carrying the Cf-2 resistance gene, which uses Rcr3 as a co-receptor to detect pathogen-derived protease inhibitors. Thus, this approach uncovered a protease inhibitor of P. syringae, indicating that also P. syringae secretes effectors that selectively target apoplastic host proteases of tomato, similar to tomato pathogenic fungi, oomycetes and nematodes.

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<![CDATA[Deciphering the Molecular Variations of Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus with Different Virulence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7fab0ee8fa60b9a04e

Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the causative agent of pine wilt disease which has caused huge economic losses in many countries. It has been reported that two forms of pine wood nematodes existed in its native region, i.e., with strong virulence and weak virulence. However, little is known about the molecular differences between the two forms. To better understand their molecular variations, transcriptome and genome sequences of three strongly virulent and one weakly virulent strains were analyzed. We found 238 transcripts and 84 exons which showed notable changes between the two virulent forms. Functional analyses of both differentially expressed transcripts and exons indicated that different virulence strains showed dissimilar nematode growth, reproduction, and oxidoreductase activities. In addition, we also detected a small number of exon-skipping events in B. xylophilus. Meanwhile, 117 SNPs were identified as potential genetic markers in distinguishing the two forms. Four of them were further proved to have undergone allele specific expressions and possibly interrupted the target site of evolutionary conserved B. xylophilus miR-47. These particular SNPs were experimentally verified by including eight additional strains to ensure the validity of our sequencing results. These results could help researchers to better diagnose nematode species with different virulence and facilitate the control of pine wilt disease.

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<![CDATA[Increased Resistance to Biotrophic Pathogens in the Arabidopsis Constitutive Induced Resistance 1 Mutant Is EDS1 and PAD4-Dependent and Modulated by Environmental Temperature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa6ab0ee8fa60ba7a42

The Arabidopsis constitutive induced resistance 1 (cir1) mutant displays salicylic acid (SA)-dependent constitutive expression of defence genes and enhanced resistance to biotrophic pathogens. To further characterise the role of CIR1 in plant immunity we conducted epistasis analyses with two key components of the SA-signalling branch of the defence network, ENHANCED DISEASE SUSCEPTIBILITY1 (EDS1) and PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT4 (PAD4). We demonstrate that the constitutive defence phenotypes of cir1 require both EDS1 and PAD4, indicating that CIR1 lies upstream of the EDS1-PAD4 regulatory node in the immune signalling network. In light of this finding we examined EDS1 expression in cir1 and observed increased protein, but not mRNA levels in this mutant, suggesting that CIR1 might act as a negative regulator of EDS1 via a post-transcriptional mechanism. Finally, as environmental temperature is known to influence the outcome of plant-pathogen interactions, we analysed cir1 plants grown at 18, 22 or 25°C. We found that susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 is modulated by temperature in cir1. Greatest resistance to this pathogen (relative to PR-1:LUC control plants) was observed at 18°C, while at 25°C no difference in susceptibility between cir1 and control plants was apparent. The increase in resistance to Pst DC3000 at 18°C correlated with a stunted growth phenotype, suggesting that activation of defence responses may be enhanced at lower temperatures in the cir1 mutant.

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<![CDATA[Fatty acid DSF binds and allosterically activates histidine kinase RpfC of phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris to regulate quorum-sensing and virulence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf322

As well as their importance to nutrition, fatty acids (FA) represent a unique group of quorum sensing chemicals that modulate the behavior of bacterial population in virulence. However, the way in which full-length, membrane-bound receptors biochemically detect FA remains unclear. Here, we provide genetic, enzymological and biophysical evidences to demonstrate that in the phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, a medium-chain FA diffusible signal factor (DSF) binds directly to the N-terminal, 22 amino acid-length sensor region of a receptor histidine kinase (HK), RpfC. The binding event remarkably activates RpfC autokinase activity by causing an allosteric change associated with the dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer (DHp) and catalytic ATP-binding (CA) domains. Six residues were found essential for sensing DSF, especially those located in the region adjoining to the inner membrane of cells. Disrupting direct DSF-RpfC interaction caused deficiency in bacterial virulence and biofilm development. In addition, two amino acids within the juxtamembrane domain of RpfC, Leu172 and Ala178, are involved in the autoinhibition of the RpfC kinase activity. Replacements of them caused constitutive activation of RpfC-mediated signaling regardless of DSF stimulation. Therefore, our results revealed a biochemical mechanism whereby FA activates bacterial HK in an allosteric manner, which will assist in future studies on the specificity of FA-HK recognition during bacterial virulence regulation and cell-cell communication.

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<![CDATA[Co-regulation of Iron Metabolism and Virulence Associated Functions by Iron and XibR, a Novel Iron Binding Transcription Factor, in the Plant Pathogen Xanthomonas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83e97

Abilities of bacterial pathogens to adapt to the iron limitation present in hosts is critical to their virulence. Bacterial pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to coordinately regulate iron metabolism and virulence associated functions to maintain iron homeostasis in response to changing iron availability in the environment. In many bacteria the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) functions as transcription factor that utilize ferrous form of iron as cofactor to regulate transcription of iron metabolism and many cellular functions. However, mechanisms of fine-tuning and coordinated regulation of virulence associated function beyond iron and Fur-Fe2+ remain undefined. In this study, we show that a novel transcriptional regulator XibR (named Xanthomonas iron binding regulator) of the NtrC family, is required for fine-tuning and co-coordinately regulating the expression of several iron regulated genes and virulence associated functions in phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). Genome wide expression analysis of iron-starvation stimulon and XibR regulon, GUS assays, genetic and functional studies of xibR mutant revealed that XibR positively regulates functions involved in iron storage and uptake, chemotaxis, motility and negatively regulates siderophore production, in response to iron. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by quantitative real-time PCR indicated that iron promoted binding of the XibR to the upstream regulatory sequence of operon’s involved in chemotaxis and motility. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that purified XibR bound ferric form of iron. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that iron positively affected the binding of XibR to the upstream regulatory sequences of the target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by ferric iron chelator deferoxamine. Taken together, these data revealed that how XibR coordinately regulates virulence associated and iron metabolism functions in Xanthomonads in response to iron availability. Our results provide insight of the complex regulatory mechanism of fine-tuning of virulence associated functions with iron availability in this important group of phytopathogen.

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<![CDATA[Protein ADP-Ribosylation Takes Control in Plant–Bacterium Interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a057 ]]> <![CDATA[Genetic Modulation of c-di-GMP Turnover Affects Multiple Virulence Traits and Bacterial Virulence in Rice Pathogen Dickeya zeae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b78e0d

The frequent outbreaks of rice foot rot disease caused by Dickeya zeae have become a significant concern in rice planting regions and countries, but the regulatory mechanisms that govern the virulence of this important pathogen remain vague. Given that the second messenger cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is associated with modulation of various virulence-related traits in various microorganisms, here we set to investigate the role of the genes encoding c-di-GMP metabolism in the regulation of the bacterial physiology and virulence by construction all in-frame deletion mutants targeting the annotated c-di-GMP turnover genes in D. zeae strain EC1. Phenotype analyses identified individual mutants showing altered production of exoenzymes and phytotoxins, biofilm formation and bacterial motilities. The results provide useful clues and a valuable toolkit for further characterization and dissection of the regulatory complex that modulates the pathogenesis and persistence of this important bacterial pathogen.

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<![CDATA[Development of a Sensitive and Specific Polyclonal Antibody for Serological Detection of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfdcd

The quarantine bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus (Cms) causes bacterial ring rot (BRR) in potato but is difficult to detect, hampering the diagnosis of this disease. ELISA immunoassays have not been widely used to detect Cms because commercially available anti-Cms antibodies detect mainly EPS-producing bacteria and can fail to detect strains that do not produce EPS. In the current study, we developed a new type of polyclonal antibody that specifically detects Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus bacteria irrespective of their EPS level. We first found that the presence of bacterial EPS precluded quantitative measurement of bacteria by currently available immunoenzymatic methods, but that washing Cms cells with acidic and basic buffers to remove EPS before analysis successfully standardized ELISA results. We used a mix of three strains of Cms with diverse EPS levels to generate antigen for production of antibodies recognizing Cms cells with and without an EPS layer (IgG-EPS and IgG-N-EPS, respectively). The resulting IgG-N-EPS recognized almost all Cms strains tested in this work regardless of their mucoidal level. The availability of this new antibody renders immunological diagnostics of Cms more sensitive and reliable, as our newly developed antibodies can be used in many type of immunoassays. This work represents an important step forward in efforts to diagnose and prevent the spread of BRR, and the methods and solutions developed in this work are covered by six Polish, one European and one US patents.

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<![CDATA[The Xylella fastidiosa PD1063 Protein Is Secreted in Association with Outer Membrane Vesicles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da41ab0ee8fa60b8a277

Xylella fastidiosa is a gram-negative, xylem-limited plant pathogenic bacterium that causes disease in a variety of economically important agricultural crops including Pierce's disease of grapevines. Xylella fastidiosa biofilms formed in the xylem vessels of plants play a key role in early colonization and pathogenicity by providing a protected niche and enhanced cell survival. Here we investigate the role of Xylella fastidiosa PD1063, the predicted ortholog of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae PXO_03968, which encodes an outer membrane protein. To assess the function of the Xylella fastidiosa ortholog, we created Xylella fastidiosa mutants deleted for PD1063 and then assessed biofilm formation, cell-cell aggregation and cell growth in vitro. We also assessed disease severity and pathogen titers in grapevines mechanically inoculated with the Xylella fastidiosa PD1063 mutant. We found a significant decrease in cell-cell aggregation among PD1063 mutants but no differences in cell growth, biofilm formation, disease severity or titers in planta. Based on the demonstration that Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae PXO_03968 encodes an outer membrane protein, secreted in association with outer membrane vesicles, we predicted that PD1063 would also be secreted in a similar manner. Using anti-PD1063 antibodies, we found PD1063 in the supernatant and secreted in association with outer membrane vesicles. PD1063 purified from the supernatant, outer membrane fractions and outer membrane vesicles was 19.2 kD, corresponding to the predicted size of the processed protein. Our findings suggest Xylella fastidiosa PD1063 is not essential for development of Pierce's disease in Vitis vinifera grapevines although further research is required to determine the function of the PD1063 outer membrane protein in Xylella fastidiosa.

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<![CDATA[A User's Guide to a Data Base of the Diversity of Pseudomonas syringae and Its Application to Classifying Strains in This Phylogenetic Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fdbe

The Pseudomonas syringae complex is composed of numerous genetic lineages of strains from both agricultural and environmental habitats including habitats closely linked to the water cycle. The new insights from the discovery of this bacterial species in habitats outside of agricultural contexts per se have led to the revelation of a wide diversity of strains in this complex beyond what was known from agricultural contexts. Here, through Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) of 216 strains, we identified 23 clades within 13 phylogroups among which the seven previously described P. syringae phylogroups were included. The phylogeny of the core genome of 29 strains representing nine phylogroups was similar to the phylogeny obtained with MLST thereby confirming the robustness of MLST-phylogroups. We show that phenotypic traits rarely provide a satisfactory means for classification of strains even if some combinations are highly probable in some phylogroups. We demonstrate that the citrate synthase (cts) housekeeping gene can accurately predict the phylogenetic affiliation for more than 97% of strains tested. We propose a list of cts sequences to be used as a simple tool for quickly and precisely classifying new strains. Finally, our analysis leads to predictions about the diversity of P. syringae that is yet to be discovered. We present here an expandable framework mainly based on cts genetic analysis into which more diversity can be integrated.

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<![CDATA[A model for predicting Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni growth as a function of temperature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf768

A two-step modeling approach was used for predicting the effect of temperature on the growth of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni, causal agent of bacterial spot disease of stone fruit. The in vitro growth of seven strains was monitored at temperatures from 5 to 35°C with a Bioscreen C system, and a calibrating equation was generated for converting optical densities to viable counts. In primary modeling, Baranyi, Buchanan, and modified Gompertz equations were fitted to viable count growth curves over the entire temperature range. The modified Gompertz model showed the best fit to the data, and it was selected to estimate the bacterial growth parameters at each temperature. Secondary modeling of maximum specific growth rate as a function of temperature was performed by using the Ratkowsky model and its variations. The modified Ratkowsky model showed the best goodness of fit to maximum specific growth rate estimates, and it was validated successfully for the seven strains at four additional temperatures. The model generated in this work will be used for predicting temperature-based Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni growth rate and derived potential daily doublings, and included as the inoculum potential component of a bacterial spot of stone fruit disease forecaster.

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<![CDATA[A multiplex TaqMan qPCR assay for sensitive and rapid detection of phytoplasmas infecting Rubus species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe2a

Rubus stunt is an economically important disease in the production of raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries. A fast, sensitive, and reliable diagnosis of phytoplasmas, the causal agent of the disease, is of prime importance to stop its spread by vegetative propagation and by insect vectors. Therefore, multiplex qPCR assays using TaqMan probes with different kinds of fluorophores in one reaction were developed, allowing the detection of phytoplasmas in general as well as a more specific detection of phytoplasmas belonging to group 16SrV and host DNA (either plant or insect). This assay now provides a practical tool for the screening of motherplants and monitoring the presence and distribution of phytoplasmas in Rubus plants of different geographic origins, cultivars, and cultivation systems, as well as in putative insect vectors like leafhoppers.

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<![CDATA[Multiplex Real-Time qPCR Assay for Simultaneous and Sensitive Detection of Phytoplasmas in Sesame Plants and Insect Vectors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b89c67

Phyllody, a destructive and economically important disease worldwide caused by phytoplasma infections, is characterized by the abnormal development of floral structures into stunted leafy parts and contributes to serious losses in crop plants, including sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Accurate identification, differentiation, and quantification of phyllody-causing phytoplasmas are essential for effective management of this plant disease and for selection of resistant sesame varieties. In this study, a diagnostic multiplex qPCR assay was developed using TaqMan® chemistry based on detection of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of phytoplasmas and the 18S ribosomal gene of sesame. Phytoplasma and sesame specific primers and probes labeled with different fluorescent dyes were used for simultaneous amplification of 16SrII and 16SrIX phytoplasmas in a single tube. The multiplex real-time qPCR assay allowed accurate detection, differentiation, and quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX groups in 109 sesame plant and 92 insect vector samples tested. The assay was found to have a detection sensitivity of 1.8 x 102 and 1.6 x 102 DNA copies for absolute quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX group phytoplasmas, respectively. Relative quantification was effective and reliable for determination of phyllody phytoplasma DNA amounts normalized to sesame DNA in infected plant tissues. The development of this qPCR assay provides a method for the rapid measurement of infection loads to identify resistance levels of sesame genotypes against phyllody phytoplasma disease.

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<![CDATA[Induction of the Viable but Nonculturable State of Ralstonia solanacearum by Low Temperature in the Soil Microcosm and Its Resuscitation by Catalase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b71c15

Ralstonia solanacearum is the causal agent of bacterial wilt on a wide variety of plants, and enters a viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state under stress conditions in soil and water. Here, we adopted an artificial soil microcosm (ASM) to investigate the VBNC state of R. solanacearum induced by low temperature. The culturability of R. solanacearum strains SL341 and GMI1000 rapidly decreased at 4°C in modified ASM (mASM), while it was stably maintained at 25°C in mASM. We hypothesized that bacterial cells at 4°C in mASM are viable but nonculturable. Total protein profiles of SL341 cells at 4°C in mASM did not differ from those of SL341 culturable cells at 25°C in mASM. Moreover, the VBNC cells maintained in the mASM retained respiration activity. Catalase treatment effectively restored the culturability of nonculturable cells in mASM, while temperature increase or other treatments used for resuscitation of other bacteria were not effective. The resuscitated R. solanacearum from VBNC state displayed normal level of bacterial virulence on tomato plants compared with its original culturable bacteria. Expression of omp, oxyR, rpoS, dps, and the 16S rRNA gene quantified by RT-qPCR did not differ significantly between the culturable and VBNC states of R. solanacearum. Our results suggested that the VBNC bacterial cells in mASM induced by low temperature exist in a physiologically unique state.

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<![CDATA[Nudix Effectors: A Common Weapon in the Arsenal of Plant Pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4dab0ee8fa60b8d2a5 ]]>