Project description:Pseudomonas syringae is a phylogenetically diverse species of Gram-negative bacterial plant pathogens responsible for crop diseases around the world. The HrpL sigma factor drives expression of the major P. syringae virulence regulon. HrpL controls expression of the genes encoding the structural and functional components of the type III secretion system (T3SS) and the type three secreted effector proteins (T3E) that are collectively essential for virulence. HrpL also regulates expression of an under-explored suite of non-type III effector genes (non-T3E), including toxin production systems and operons not previously associated with virulence. We implemented and refined genome-wide transcriptional analysis methods using cDNA-derived high-throughput sequencing (RNA-seq) data to characterize the HrpL regulon from six isolates of P. syringae spanning the diversity of the species. Our transcriptomes, mapped onto both complete and draft genomes, significantly extend earlier studies. We confirmed HrpL-regulation for a majority of previously defined T3E genes in these six strains. We identified two new T3E families from P. syringae pv. oryzae 1_6, a strain within the relatively underexplored phylogenetic Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) group IV. The HrpL regulons varied among strains in gene number and content across both their T3E and non-T3E gene suites. Strains within MLST group II consistently express the lowest number of HrpL-regulated genes. We identified events leading to recruitment into, and loss from, the HrpL regulon. These included gene gain and loss, and loss of HrpL regulation caused by group-specific cis element mutations in otherwise conserved genes. Novel non-T3E HrpL-regulated genes include an operon that we show is required for full virulence of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A on French bean. We highlight the power of integrating genomic, transcriptomic, and phylogenetic information to drive concise functional experimentation and to derive better insight into the evolution of virulence across an evolutionarily diverse pathogen species.
Project description:We cloned the rpoN (ntrA and glnF) gene encoding sigma(54) from the phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola strain ES4326. The P. syringae ES4326 rpoN gene complemented Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella aerogenes rpoN mutants for a variety of rpoN mutant phenotypes, including the inability to utilize nitrate as sole nitrogen source. DNA sequence analysis of the P. syringae ES4326 rpoN gene revealed that the deduced amino acid sequence was most similar (86% identity; 95% similarity) to the sigma(54) protein encoded by the Pseudomonas putida rpoN gene. A marker exchange protocol was used to construct an ES4326 rpoN insertional mutation, rpoN::Km(r). In contrast to wild-type ES4326, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) was nonmotile and could not utilize nitrate, urea, C(4)-dicarboxylic acids, several amino acids, or concentrations of ammonia below 2 mM as nitrogen sources. rpoN was essential for production of the phytotoxin coronatine and for expression of the structural genes encoding coronamic acid. In addition, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) did not multiply or elicit disease symptoms when infiltrated into Arabidopsis thaliana leaves, did not elicit the accumulation of several Arabidopsis defense-related mRNAs, and did not elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) when infiltrated into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves. Furthermore, whereas P. syringae ES4326 carrying the avirulence gene avrRpt2 elicited an HR when infiltrated into Arabidopsis ecotype Columbia leaves, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) carrying avrRpt2 elicited no response. Constitutive expression of ES4326 hrpL in ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) partially restored defense-related mRNA accumulation, showing a direct role for the hrp cluster in host defense gene induction in a compatible host-pathogen interaction. However, constitutive expression of hrpL in ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) did not restore coronatine production, showing that coronatine biosynthesis requires factors other than hrpL.
Project description:The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a principal virulence determinant of the model bacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae T3SS effector proteins inhibit plant defense signaling pathways in susceptible hosts and elicit evolved immunity in resistant plants. The extracytoplasmic function sigma factor HrpL coordinates the expression of most T3SS genes. Transcription of hrpL is dependent on sigma-54 and the codependent enhancer binding proteins HrpR and HrpS for hrpL promoter activation. hrpL is oriented adjacently to and divergently from the HrpL-dependent gene hrpJ, sharing an intergenic upstream regulatory region. We show that association of the RNA polymerase (RNAP)-HrpL complex with the hrpJ promoter element imposes negative autogenous control on hrpL transcription in P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000. The hrpL promoter was upregulated in a ?hrpL mutant and was repressed by plasmid-borne hrpL In a minimal Escherichia coli background, the activity of HrpL was sufficient to achieve repression of reconstituted hrpL transcription. This repression was relieved if both the HrpL DNA-binding function and the hrp-box sequence of the hrpJ promoter were compromised, implying dependence upon the hrpJ promoter. DNA-bound RNAP-HrpL entirely occluded the HrpRS and partially occluded the integration host factor (IHF) recognition elements of the hrpL promoter in vitro, implicating inhibition of DNA binding by these factors as a cause of negative autogenous control. A modest increase in the HrpL concentration caused hypersecretion of the HrpA1 pilus protein but intracellular accumulation of later T3SS substrates. We argue that negative feedback on HrpL activity fine-tunes expression of the T3SS regulon to minimize the elicitation of plant defenses. IMPORTANCE:The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that agriculture will need to satisfy a 50% to 70% increase in global food demand if the human population reaches 9 billion by 2050 as predicted. However, diseases caused by microbial pathogens represent a major threat to food security, accounting for over 10% of estimated yield losses in staple wheat, rice, and maize crops. Understanding the decision-making strategies employed by pathogens to coordinate virulence and to evade plant defenses is vital for informing crop resistance traits and management strategies. Many plant-pathogenic bacteria utilize the needle-like T3SS to inject virulence factors into host plant cells to suppress defense signaling. Pseudomonas syringae is an economically and environmentally devastating plant pathogen. We propose that the master regulator of its entire T3SS gene set, HrpL, downregulates its own expression to minimize elicitation of plant defenses. Revealing such conserved regulatory strategies will inform future antivirulence strategies targeting plant pathogens.
Project description:The Pseudomonas syringae hrp and hrmA genes controlling pathogenicity and elicitation of the hypersensitive response and the avr genes controlling host range have been shown previously to be regulated by carbon, nitrogen, pH, osmolarity, and hypothetical plant factors. In P. syringae pv. syringae Pss61, inactivation of hrp complementation groups II and XIII reduced expression of a plasmid-borne hrmA'-lacZ fusion. The hrp regions II and XIII were cloned on separate plasmids and shown to enhance the activity of the hrmA promoter in Escherichia coli MC4100 transformants at least 100-fold. The nucleotide sequence of region XIII revealed two open reading frames (hrpR and hrpS) whose deduced products share homology with P. syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121 HrpS and are both related to the NtrC family of two-component signal transduction systems. HrpR and HrpS differ from most members of the protein family by lacking an amino-terminal domain which modulates the regulatory activity. A single open reading frame, hrpL, whose product shares homology with AlgU, a putative alternate sigma factor of P. aeruginosa, as well as with the related alternate sigma factors was identified within region II. Key domains are partially conserved. Inactivation of hrpS in Pss61 repressed expression of a plasmid-borne hrpL'-lacZ fusion carried by pYXPL1R, and transformation of MC4100(pYXPL1R) with a plasmid carrying hrpRS increased hrpL promoter activity at least 200-fold. Neither hrpS nor hrpR, when cloned on separate plasmids, activated the hrpL promoter activity individually. The expression of hrpL when directed by a lac promoter was sufficient to express a set of plasmid-borne hrmA'-, hrpJ'-, and hrpZ'-lacZ fusions independently of other hrp genes. The results indicate that hrpRS and hrpL are part of a regulatory cascade in which HrpR and HrpS activate expression of hrpL and HrpL, a putative sigma factor, induces expression of HrpL-responsive genes.
Project description:Pseudomonas syringae strains deliver variable numbers of type III effector proteins into plant cells during infection. These proteins are required for virulence, because strains incapable of delivering them are nonpathogenic. We implemented a whole-genome, high-throughput screen for identifying P. syringae type III effector genes. The screen relied on FACS and an arabinose-inducible hrpL sigma factor to automate the identification and cloning of HrpL-regulated genes. We determined whether candidate genes encode type III effector proteins by creating and testing full-length protein fusions to a reporter called Delta79AvrRpt2 that, when fused to known type III effector proteins, is translocated and elicits a hypersensitive response in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana expressing the RPS2 plant disease resistance protein. Delta79AvrRpt2 is thus a marker for type III secretion system-dependent translocation, the most critical criterion for defining type III effector proteins. We describe our screen and the collection of type III effector proteins from two pathovars of P. syringae. This stringent functional criteria defined 29 type III proteins from P. syringae pv. tomato, and 19 from P. syringae pv. phaseolicola race 6. Our data provide full functional annotation of the hrpL-dependent type III effector suites from two sequenced P. syringae pathovars and show that type III effector protein suites are highly variable in this pathogen, presumably reflecting the evolutionary selection imposed by the various host plants.
Project description:We implemented transcriptional analysis methods using cDNA and high-throughput sequencing data to identify HrpL-regulated genes for six strains of Pseudomonas syringae Each Pseudomonas syringae strains was transformed with either pBAD::EV or pBAD containing native hrpL sequence. Strains were grown in MM media supplemented with arabinose and collected 1, 3, and 5 hours post arabinose treatment. RNA was extracted for each time point and mixed at a 1/3 ratio. After removal of rRNA, double stranded cDNA was generated and library prepared accordeing to Illumina protocols.
Project description:Pseudomonas syringae, a Gram-negative plant pathogen, infects more than 50 crops with its type III secretion system (T3SS) and causes severe economic losses around the world. Although the mechanisms of virulence-associated regulators of P. syringae T3SS have been studied for decades, the crosstalk and network underlying these regulators are still elusive. Previously, we have individually studied a group of T3SS regulators, including AefR, HrpS, and RhpRS. In the present study, we found 4 new T3SS regulator genes (envZ, ompR, tsiS and phoQ) via transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Two-component systems EnvZ and TsiS natively regulate T3SS. In order to uncover the crosstalk between 16 virulence-associated regulators, (including AefR, AlgU, CvsR, GacA, HrpL, HrpR, HrpS, MgrA, OmpR, PhoP, PilR, PsrA, RhpR, RpoN, TsiR and Vfr) in P. syringae, we mapped an intricate network named PSVnet (Pseudomonas syringae Virulence Regulatory Network) by combining differentially expression genes in RNA-seq and binding loci in ChIP-seq of all regulators. Overall design: ChIP-seq and RNA-seq for PSVnet
Project description:In Pseudomonas syringae strains, the hrp-hrc pathogenicity island consists of an HrpL-dependent regulon that encodes a type III protein translocation complex and translocated effector proteins required for pathogenesis. HrpR and HrpS function as positive regulatory factors for the hrpL promoter, but their mechanism of action has not been established. Both HrpR and HrpS are structurally related to enhancer-binding proteins, but they lack receiver domains and do not appear to require a cognate protein kinase for activity. hrpR and hrpS were shown to be expressed as an operon: a promoter was identified 5' to hrpR, and reverse transcriptase PCR detected the presence of an hrpRS transcript. The hrpR promoter and coding sequence were conserved among P. syringae strains. The coding sequences for hrpR and hrpS were cloned into compatible expression vectors, and their activities were monitored in Escherichia coli transformants carrying an hrpL'-lacZ fusion. HrpS could function as a weak activator of the hrpL promoter, but the activity was only 2.5% of the activity detected when both HrpR and HrpS were expressed in the reporter strain. This finding is consistent with a requirement for both HrpR and HrpS in the activation of the hrpL promoter. By using a yeast two-hybrid assay, an interaction between HrpR and HrpS was detected, suggestive of the formation of a heteromeric complex. Physical interaction of HrpR and HrpS was confirmed by column-binding experiments. The results show that HrpR and HrpS physically interact to regulate the sigma(54)-dependent hrpL promoter in P. syringae strains.
Project description:Pseudomonas syringae is a widespread bacterial pathogen that causes disease on a broad range of economically important plant species. Pathogenicity of P. syringae strains is dependent on the type III secretion system, which secretes a suite of up to about thirty virulence 'effector' proteins into the host cytoplasm where they subvert the eukaryotic cell physiology and disrupt host defences. P. syringae pathovar tabaci naturally causes disease on wild tobacco, the model member of the Solanaceae, a family that includes many crop species as well as on soybean.We used the 'next-generation' Illumina sequencing platform and the Velvet short-read assembly program to generate a 145X deep 6,077,921 nucleotide draft genome sequence for P. syringae pathovar tabaci strain 11528. From our draft assembly, we predicted 5,300 potential genes encoding proteins of at least 100 amino acids long, of which 303 (5.72%) had no significant sequence similarity to those encoded by the three previously fully sequenced P. syringae genomes. Of the core set of Hrp Outer Proteins that are conserved in three previously fully sequenced P. syringae strains, most were also conserved in strain 11528, including AvrE1, HopAH2, HopAJ2, HopAK1, HopAN1, HopI, HopJ1, HopX1, HrpK1 and HrpW1. However, the hrpZ1 gene is partially deleted and hopAF1 is completely absent in 11528. The draft genome of strain 11528 also encodes close homologues of HopO1, HopT1, HopAH1, HopR1, HopV1, HopAG1, HopAS1, HopAE1, HopAR1, HopF1, and HopW1 and a degenerate HopM1'. Using a functional screen, we confirmed that hopO1, hopT1, hopAH1, hopM1', hopAE1, hopAR1, and hopAI1' are part of the virulence-associated HrpL regulon, though the hopAI1' and hopM1' sequences were degenerate with premature stop codons. We also discovered two additional HrpL-regulated effector candidates and an HrpL-regulated distant homologue of avrPto1.The draft genome sequence facilitates the continued development of P. syringae pathovar tabaci on wild tobacco as an attractive model system for studying bacterial disease on plants. The catalogue of effectors sheds further light on the evolution of pathogenicity and host-specificity as well as providing a set of molecular tools for the study of plant defence mechanisms. We also discovered several large genomic regions in Pta 11528 that do not share detectable nucleotide sequence similarity with previously sequenced Pseudomonas genomes. These regions may include horizontally acquired islands that possibly contribute to pathogenicity or epiphytic fitness of Pta 11528.
Project description:Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 contains genes for 15 sigma factors. The majority are members of the extracytoplasmic function class of sigma factors, including five that belong to the iron starvation subgroup. In this study, we identified the genes controlled by three iron starvation sigma factors. Their regulons are composed of a small number of genes likely to be involved in iron uptake.