Fortunella margarita transcriptional reprogramming triggered by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Citrus canker disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) has become endemic in areas where high temperature, rain, humidity, and windy conditions provide a favourable environment for the dissemination of the bacterium. Xcc is pathogenic on many commercial citrus varieties but appears to elicit an incompatible reaction on the citrus relative Fortunella margarita Swing (kumquat), in the form of a very distinct delayed necrotic response. We have developed subtractive libraries enriched in sequences expressed in kumquat leaves during both early and late stages of the disease. The isolated differentially expressed transcripts were subsequently sequenced. Our results demonstrate how the use of microarray expression profiling can help assign roles to previously uncharacterized genes and elucidate plant pathogenesis-response related mechanisms. This can be considered to be a case study in a citrus relative where high throughput technologies were utilized to understand defence mechanisms in Fortunella and citrus at the molecular level. RESULTS: cDNAs from sequenced kumquat libraries (ESTs) made from subtracted RNA populations, healthy vs. infected, were used to make this microarray. Of 2054 selected genes on a customized array, 317 were differentially expressed (P < 0.05) in Xcc challenged kumquat plants compared to mock-inoculated ones. This study identified components of the incompatible interaction such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and programmed cell death (PCD). Common defence mechanisms and a number of resistance genes were also identified. In addition, there were a considerable number of differentially regulated genes that had no homologues in the databases. This could be an indication of either a specialized set of genes employed by kumquat in response to canker disease or new defence mechanisms in citrus. CONCLUSION: Functional categorization of kumquat Xcc-responsive genes revealed an enhanced defence-related metabolism as well as a number of resistant response-specific genes in the kumquat transcriptome in response to Xcc inoculation. Gene expression profile(s) were analyzed to assemble a comprehensive and inclusive image of the molecular interaction in the kumquat/Xcc system. This was done in order to elucidate molecular mechanisms associated with the development of the hypersensitive response phenotype in kumquat leaves. These data will be used to perform comparisons among citrus species to evaluate means to enhance the host immune responses against bacterial diseases.
Project description:The bacterial agent of citrus canker disease (Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri, Xcc) has caused tremendous economic losses to the citrus industry around the world. Pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) is important to plant immunity. In this study, we compared the defence responses of citrus canker-resistant and citrus canker-susceptible genotypes to the Xcc-derived PAMP flg22 (Xflg22) by analysing the expression of 20 citrus defence-associated genes. We showed that, in the most resistant genotype, 'Nagami' kumquat, there was significant induction of several defence genes (EDS1, NDR1, PBS1, RAR1, SGT1, PAL1, NPR2 and NPR3) as early as 6 h and up to 72 h after Xflg22 treatment. At the other end of the spectrum, highly susceptible 'Duncan' grapefruit showed no induction of the same defence genes, even 120 h after treatment. Citrus genotypes with partial levels of resistance showed intermediate levels of transcriptional reprogramming that correlated with their resistance level. Xflg22 also triggered a rapid oxidative burst in all genotypes which was higher and accompanied by the induction of PTI marker genes (WRKY22 and GST1) only in the more resistant genotypes. Pretreatment with Xflg22 prior to Xcc inoculation inhibited bacterial growth in kumquat, but not in grapefruit. A flagellin-deficient Xcc strain (Xcc?fliC) showed greater growth increase relative to wild-type Xcc in kumquat than in grapefruit. Taken together, our results indicate that Xflg22 initiates strong PTI in canker-resistant genotypes, but not in susceptible ones, and that a robust induction of PTI is an important component of citrus resistance to canker.
Project description:Citrus canker caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is one of the most devastating diseases in citrus. Meiwa kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia) has shown a durable resistance against Xcc. Here, we aimed to characterize the mechanisms responsible for such a durable resistance by characterizing the transcriptional and physiological responses of Meiwa kumquat to Xcc. Inoculation of Meiwa kumquat with Xcc promoted immune responses such as upregulation of PR genes, accumulation of salicylic acid, hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death and early leaf abscission. Hypertrophy and hyperplasia symptoms, which are known to be caused by Xcc-induction of the canker susceptibility gene LOB1 through the transcription activator-like effector (TALE) PthA4, always appear prior to the development of cell death. Mutation of pthA4 in Xcc abolished the induction of LOB1, canker symptoms, cell death, and leaf abscission and reduced the expression of PR genes in inoculated kumquat leaves without reducing Xcc titers in planta. Transcriptome analysis demonstrated that PthA4 promotes plant biotic and abiotic stress responses and the biosynthesis of abscisic acid. Transcriptional induction of LOB1 homologs in Meiwa kumquat by Xcc pthA4 mutant strains carrying a repertoire of designer TALEs promoted the elicitation of HR-like phenotype and leaf abscission, suggesting that kumquat response to Xcc is associated with upregulation of LOB1. Our study suggests a novel mechanism of plant resistance to Xanthomonas via elicitation of immune responses by upregulation of a host susceptibility gene.
Project description:Citrus canker disease caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is one of the most devastating biotic stresses affecting the citrus industry. Meiwa kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia) is canker-resistant, while Newhall navel orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) is canker-sensitive. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the differences in responses to Xcc, transcriptomic profiles of these two genotypes following Xcc attack were compared by using the Affymetrix citrus genome GeneChip. A total of 794 and 1324 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified as canker-responsive genes in Meiwa and Newhall, respectively. Of these, 230 genes were expressed in common between both genotypes, while 564 and 1094 genes were only significantly expressed in either Meiwa or Newhall. Gene ontology (GO) annotation and Singular Enrichment Analysis (SEA) of the DEGs showed that genes related to the cell wall and polysaccharide metabolism were induced for basic defense in both Meiwa and Newhall, such as chitinase, glucanase and thaumatin-like protein. Moreover, apart from inducing basic defense, Meiwa showed specially upregulated expression of several genes involved in the response to biotic stimulus, defense response, and cation binding as comparing with Newhall. And in Newhall, abundant photosynthesis-related genes were significantly down-regulated, which may be in order to ensure the basic defense. This study revealed different molecular responses to canker disease in Meiwa and Newhall, affording insight into the response to canker and providing valuable information for the identification of potential genes for engineering canker tolerance in the future.
Project description:Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-triggered immunity (PTI) is an important component of plant innate immunity. In a previous study, we showed that the PAMP flg22 from Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (Xflg22), the causal agent of citrus canker, induced PTI in citrus, which correlated with the observed levels of canker resistance. Here, we identified and sequenced two bacterial flagellin/flg22 receptors (FLS2-1 and FLS2-2) from 'Duncan' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi, CpFLS2-1 and CpFLS2-2) and 'Sun Chu Sha' mandarin (C. reticulata, CrFLS2-1 and CrFLS2-2). We were able to isolate only one FLS2 from 'Nagami' kumquat (Fortunella margarita, FmFLS2-1) and gene flanking sequences suggest a rearrangement event that resulted in the deletion of FLS2-2 from the genome. Phylogenetic analysis, gene structure and presence of critical amino acid domains all indicate we identified the true FLS2 genes in citrus. FLS2-2 was more transcriptionally responsive to Xflg22 than FLS2-1, with induced expression levels higher in canker-resistant citrus than in susceptible ones. Interestingly, 'Nagami' kumquat showed the highest FLS2-1 steady-state expression levels, although it was not induced by Xflg22. We selected FmFLS2-1, CrFLS2-2 and CpFLS2-2 to further evaluate their capacity to enhance bacterial resistance using Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression assays. Both FmFLS2-1 and CrFLS2-2, the two proteins from canker-resistant species, conferred stronger Xflg22 responses and reduced canker symptoms in leaves of the susceptible grapefruit genotype. These two citrus genes will be useful resources to enhance PTI and achieve resistance against canker and possibly other bacterial pathogens in susceptible citrus types.
Project description:Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is a bacterial pathogen that causes citrus canker in susceptible Citrus spp. The Xcc genome contains genes encoding enzymes from three separate pathways of trehalose biosynthesis. Expression of genes encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (otsA) and trehalose phosphatase (otsB) was highly induced during canker development, suggesting that the two-step pathway of trehalose biosynthesis via trehalose-6-phosphate has a function in pathogenesis. This pathway was eliminated from the bacterium by deletion of the otsA gene. The resulting Xcc?otsA mutant produced less trehalose than the wild-type strain, was less resistant to salt and oxidative stresses, and was less able to colonize plant tissues. Gene expression and proteomic analyses of infected leaves showed that infection with Xcc?otsA triggered only weak defence responses in the plant compared with infection with Xcc, and had less impact on the host plant's metabolism than the wild-type strain. These results suggested that trehalose of bacterial origin, synthesized via the otsA-otsB pathway, in Xcc, plays a role in modifying the host plant's metabolism to its own advantage but is also perceived by the plant as a sign of pathogen attack. Thus, trehalose biosynthesis has both positive and negative consequences for Xcc. On the one hand, it enables this bacterial pathogen to survive in the inhospitable environment of the leaf surface before infection and exploit the host plant's resources after infection, but on the other hand, it is a tell-tale sign of the pathogen's presence that triggers the plant to defend itself against infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Xanthomonas citri pv. citri (Xcc) is a citrus canker causing Gram-negative bacteria. Currently, little is known about the biological and molecular responses of Xcc to low temperatures. RESULTS:Results depicted that low temperature significantly reduced growth and increased biofilm formation and unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) ratio in Xcc. At low temperature Xcc formed branching structured motility. Global transcriptome analysis revealed that low temperature modulates multiple signaling networks and essential cellular processes such as carbon, nitrogen and fatty acid metabolism in Xcc. Differential expression of genes associated with type IV pilus system and pathogenesis are important cellular adaptive responses of Xcc to cold stress. CONCLUSIONS:Study provides clear insights into biological characteristics and genome-wide transcriptional analysis based molecular mechanism of Xcc in response to low temperature.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Citrus canker is a disease caused by the phytopathogens Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, Xanthomonas fuscans subsp. aurantifolli and Xanthomonas alfalfae subsp. citrumelonis. The first of the three species, which causes citrus bacterial canker type A, is the most widely spread and severe, attacking all citrus species. In Brazil, this species is the most important, being found in practically all areas where citrus canker has been detected. Like most phytobacterioses, there is no efficient way to control citrus canker. Considering the importance of the disease worldwide, investigation is needed to accurately detect which genes are related to the pathogen-host adaptation process and which are associated with pathogenesis. RESULTS: Through transposon insertion mutagenesis, 10,000 mutants of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri strain 306 (Xcc) were obtained, and 3,300 were inoculated in Rangpur lime (Citrus limonia) leaves. Their ability to cause citrus canker was analyzed every 3 days until 21 days after inoculation; a set of 44 mutants showed altered virulence, with 8 presenting a complete loss of causing citrus canker symptoms. Sequencing of the insertion site in all 44 mutants revealed that 35 different ORFs were hit, since some ORFs were hit in more than one mutant, with mutants for the same ORF presenting the same phenotype. An analysis of these ORFs showed that some encoded genes were previously known as related to pathogenicity in phytobacteria and, more interestingly, revealed new genes never implicated with Xanthomonas pathogenicity before, including hypothetical ORFs. Among the 8 mutants with no canker symptoms are the hrpB4 and hrpX genes, two genes that belong to type III secretion system (TTSS), two hypothetical ORFS and, surprisingly, the htrA gene, a gene reported as involved with the virulence process in animal-pathogenic bacteria but not described as involved in phytobacteria virulence. Nucleic acid hybridization using labeled cDNA probes showed that some of the mutated genes are differentially expressed when the bacterium is grown in citrus leaves. Finally, comparative genomic analysis revealed that 5 mutated ORFs are in new putative pathogenicity islands. CONCLUSION: The identification of these new genes related with Xcc infection and virulence is a great step towards the understanding of plant-pathogen interactions and could allow the development of strategies to control citrus canker.
Project description:Citrus is an economically important fruit crop that is severely afflicted by citrus canker, a disease caused by Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (X. citri); thus, new sustainable strategies to manage this disease are needed. Although all Citrus spp. are susceptible to this pathogen, they are resistant to other Xanthomonas species, exhibiting non-host resistance (NHR), for example, to the brassica pathogen X. campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) and a gene-for-gene host defence response (HDR) to the canker-causing X. fuscans ssp. aurantifolii (Xfa) strain C. Here, we examine the plant factors associated with the NHR of C. limon to Xcc. We show that Xcc induced asymptomatic type I NHR, allowing the bacterium to survive in a stationary phase in the non-host tissue. In C. limon, this NHR shared some similarities with HDR; both defence responses interfered with biofilm formation, and were associated with callose deposition, induction of the salicylic acid (SA) signalling pathway and the repression of abscisic acid (ABA) signalling. However, greater stomatal closure was seen during NHR than during HDR, together with different patterns of accumulation of reactive oxygen species and phenolic compounds and the expression of secondary metabolites. Overall, these differences, independent of Xcc type III effector proteins, could contribute to the higher protection elicited against canker development. We propose that Xcc may have the potential to steadily activate inducible defence responses. An understanding of these plant responses (and their triggers) may allow the development of a sustained and sustainable resistance to citrus canker.
Project description:Ferredoxin-NADP(H) reductases (FNRs) deliver NADPH or low potential one-electron donors to redox-based metabolism in plastids and bacteria. Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for citrus canker disease that affects commercial citrus crops worldwide. The Xcc fpr gene encodes a bacterial type FNR (XccFPR) that contributes to the bacterial response to oxidative stress conditions, usually found during plant colonization. Therefore, XccFPR is relevant for the pathogen survival and its inhibition might represent a strategy to treat citrus canker. Because of mechanistic and structural differences from plastidic FNRs, XccFPR is also a potential antibacterial target. We have optimized an activity-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay that identifies XccFPR inhibitors. We selected 43 hits from a chemical library and narrowed them down to the four most promising inhibitors. The antimicrobial effect of these compounds was evaluated on Xcc cultures, finding one with antimicrobial properties. Based on the functional groups of this compound and their geometric arrangement, we identified another three XccFPR inhibitors. Inhibition mechanisms and constants were determined for these four XccFPR inhibitors. Their specificity was also evaluated by studying their effect on the plastidic Anabaena PCC 7119 FNR, finding differences that can become interesting tools to discover Xcc antimicrobials.
Project description:Citrus canker is an economically important disease that affects orange production in some of the most important producing areas around the world. It represents a great threat to the Brazilian and North American citriculture, particularly to the states of São Paulo and Florida, which together correspond to the biggest orange juice producers in the world. The etiological agent of this disease is the Gram-negative bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc), which grows optimally in laboratory cultures at ~30 °C. To investigate how temperatures differing from 30 °C influence the development of Xcc, we subjected the bacterium to thermal stresses, and afterward scored its recovery capability. In addition, we analyzed cell morphology and some markers of essential cellular processes that could indicate the extent of the heat-induced damage. We found that the exposure of Xcc to 37 °C for a period of 6 h led to a cell cycle arrest at the division stage. Thermal stress might have also interfered with the DNA replication and/or the chromosome segregation apparatuses, since cells displayed an increased number of sister origins side-by-side within rods. Additionally, Xcc treated at 37 °C was still able to induce citrus canker symptoms, showing that thermal stress did not affect the ability of Xcc to colonize the host citrus. At 40-42 °C, Xcc lost viability and became unable to induce disease symptoms in citrus. Our results provide evidence about essential cellular mechanisms perturbed by temperature, and can be potentially explored as a new method for Xanthomonas citri synchronization in cell cycle studies, as well as for the sanitation of plant material.