Plant secondary metabolites carry out numerous functions in interactions between plants and a broad range of other organisms. Experimental evidence strongly supports the indispensable contribution of many constitutive and pathogen-inducible phytochemicals to plant innate immunity. Extensive studies on model plant species, particularly Arabidopsis thaliana, have brought significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning pathogen-triggered biosynthesis and activation of defensive secondary metabolites. However, despite the proven significance of secondary metabolites in plant response to pathogenic microorganisms, little is known about the precise mechanisms underlying their contribution to plant immunity. This insufficiency concerns information on the dynamics of cellular and subcellular localization of defensive phytochemicals during the encounters with microbial pathogens and precise knowledge on their mode of action. As many secondary metabolites are characterized by their in vitro antimicrobial activity, these compounds were commonly considered to function in plant defense as in planta antibiotics. Strikingly, recent experimental evidence suggests that at least some of these compounds alternatively may be involved in controlling several immune responses that are evolutionarily conserved in the plant kingdom, including callose deposition and programmed cell death.
Plants are continuously monitoring the presence of microorganisms to establish an adapted response. Plants commonly use pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to perceive microbe- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs/PAMPs) which are microorganism molecular signatures. Located at the plant plasma membrane, the PRRs are generally receptor-like kinases (RLKs) or receptor-like proteins (RLPs). MAMP detection will lead to the establishment of a plant defense program called MAMP-triggered immunity (MTI). In this review, we overview the RLKs and RLPs that assure early recognition and control of pathogenic or beneficial bacteria. We also highlight the crucial function of PRRs during plant-microbe interactions, with a special emphasis on the receptors of the bacterial flagellin and peptidoglycan. In addition, we discuss the multiple strategies used by bacteria to evade PRR-mediated recognition.
AvrBs3, the archetype of the family of transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors from phytopathogenic Xanthomonas bacteria, is translocated by the type III secretion system into the plant cell. AvrBs3 localizes to the plant cell nucleus and activates the transcription of target genes. Crucial for this is the central AvrBs3 region of 17.5 34-amino acid repeats that functions as a DNA-binding domain mediating recognition in a “one-repeat-to-one base pair” manner. Although AvrBs3 forms homodi
This workshop aims to draw together researchers in plant and animal NLR biology to discuss recent conceptual advances and future directions for the field. The workshop will take place at Schloss Ringberg in Bavaria, Germany from May 3–6, 2015. View the workshop poster for more information on how to register and submit an abstract.
Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multiprotein complexes that transport effector proteins and protein–DNA complexes through bacterial membranes to the extracellular milieu or directly into the cytoplasm of other cells. Many bacteria of the family Xanthomonadaceae, which occupy diverse environmental niches, carry a T4SS with unknown function but with several characteristics that distinguishes it from other T4SSs. Here we show that the Xanthomonas citri T4SS provides these cells the capacity to kill other Gram-negative bacterial species in a contact-dependent manner. The secretion of one type IV bacterial effector protein is shown to require a conserved C-terminal domain and its bacteriolytic activity is neutralized by a cognate immunity protein whose 3D structure is similar to peptidoglycan hydrolase inhibitors. This is the first demonstration of the involvement of a T4SS in bacterial killing and points to this special class of T4SS as a mediator of both antagonistic and cooperative interbacterial interactions.
Diorge P. Souza, Gabriel U. Oka, Cristina E. Alvarez-Martinez, Alexandre W. Bisson-Filho, German Dunger, Lise Hobeika, Nayara S. Cavalcante, Marcos C. Alegria, Leandro R.S. Barbosa, Roberto K. Salinas, Cristiane R. Guzzo & Chuck S. Farah
The plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum has two genes encoding for the sigma factor 54: rpoN1, located in the chromosome and rpoN2, located in a distinct ‘megaplasmid’ replicon. In this study, individual mutants as well as a double mutant of rpoN were created in R. solanacearum strain GMI1000 in order to determine the extent of functional overlap between these two genes. By virulence assay we observed that rpoN1 is required for virulence whereas rpoN2 is not. In addition rpoN1 controls other important functions such twitching motility, natural transformation and growth on nitrate, unlike rpoN2. The rpoN1 and rpoN2 genes have different expression pattern, the expression of rpoN1 being constitutive whereas rpoN2 expression is induced in minimal medium and in the presence of plant cells. Moreover, the expression of rpoN2 is dependent upon rpoN1. Our work therefore reveals that the two rpoN genes are not functionally redundant in R.solanacearum. A list of potential sigma 54 targets was identified in the R. solanacearum genome and suggests that multiple traits are under the control of these regulators. Based on these findings, we provide a model describing the functional connection between RpoN1and the PehR pathogenicity regulator and their dual role in the control of several R. solanacearum virulence determinants.
New research results have significantly revised our understanding of the rhizobium–legume infection process. For example, Nod factors (NFs), previously thought to be absolutely essential for this symbiosis, were shown to be dispensable under particular conditions. Similarly, an NF receptor, previously considered to be solely involved in symbiosis, was shown to function during plant pathogen infections. Indeed, there is a growing realization that plant innate immunity is a crucial component in the establishment and maintenance of symbiosis. We review here the factors involved in the suppression of plant immunity during rhizobium–legume symbiosis, and we attempt to place this information into context with the most recent and sometimes surprising research results.
Benjamin Gourion, Fathi Berrabah, Pascal Ratet, Gary Stacey
The sensing of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) triggers innate immunity in animals and plants. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria is a potent MAMP for mammals, with the lipid A moiety activating proinflammatory responses via Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Here we found that the plant Arabidopsis thaliana specifically sensed LPS of Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas. We isolated LPS-insensitive mutants defective in the bulb-type lectin S-domain-1 receptor–like kinase LORE (SD1-29), which were hypersusceptible to infection with Pseudomonas syringae. Targeted chemical degradation of LPS from Pseudomonas species suggested that LORE detected mainly the lipid A moiety of LPS. LORE conferred sensitivity to LPS onto tobacco after transient expression, which demonstrated a key function in LPS sensing and indicated the possibility of engineering resistance to bacteria in crop species.
The modification of proteins by the attachment of fatty acids is a targeting tactic involved in mechanisms of both plant immunity and bacterial pathogenesis. The plant plasma membrane (PM) is a key battleground in the war against disease-causing microbes. This membrane is armed with an array of sensor proteins that function as a surveillance system to detect invading pathogens. Several of these sensor proteins are directed to the plasma membrane through the covalent addition of fatty acids, a process termed fatty acylation. Phytopathogens secrete effector proteins into the plant cell to subvert these surveillance mechanisms, rendering the host susceptible to infection. The targeting of effectors to specific locales within plant cells, particularly the internal face of the host PM, is critical for their virulence function. Several bacterial effectors hijack the host fatty acylation machinery to be modified and directed to this contested locale. To find and fight these fatty acylated effectors the plant leverages lipid-modified intracellular sensors. This review provides examples featuring how fatty acylation is a battle tactic used by both combatants in the molecular arms race between plants and pathogens. Also highlighted is the exploitation of a specific form of host-mediated fatty acid modification, which appears to be exclusively employed by phytopathogenic effector proteins.
Fungal cell walls play dynamic functions in interaction of fungi with their surroundings. In pathogenic fungi, the cell wall is the first structure to make physical contact with host cells. An important structural component of fungal cell walls is chitin, a well-known elicitor of immune responses in plants. Research into chitin perception has sparked since the chitin receptor from rice was cloned nearly a decade ago. Considering the widespread nature of chitin perception in plants, pathogens evidently evolved strategies to overcome detection, including alterations in the composition of cell walls, modification of their carbohydrate chains and secretion of effectors to provide cell wall protection or target host immune responses. Also non-pathogenic fungi contain chitin in their cell walls and are recipients of immune responses. Intriguingly, various mutualists employ chitin-derived signaling molecules to prepare their hosts for the mutualistic relationship. Research on the various types of interactions has revealed different molecular components that play crucial roles and, moreover, that various chitin-binding proteins contain dissimilar chitin-binding domains across species that differ in affinity and specificity. Considering the various strategies from microbes and hosts focused on chitin recognition, it is evident that this carbohydrate plays a central role in plant–fungus interactions.
Andrea Sánchez-Vallet , Jeroen R. Mesters , Bart P.H.J. Thomma
In plant innate immunity, individual cells have the capacity to sense and respond to pathogen attack. Intracellular recognition mechanisms have evolved to intercept perturbations by pathogen virulence factors (effectors) early in host infection and convert it to rapid defense. One key to resistance success is a polymorphic family of intracellular nucleotide-binding/leucine-richrepeat (NLR) receptors that detect effector interference in different parts of the cell. Effector-activated NLRs connect, in various ways, to a conserved basal resistance network in order to transcriptionally boost defense programs. Effector-triggered immunity displays remarkable robustness against pathogen disturbance, in part by employing compensatory mechanisms within the defense network. Also, the mobility of some NLRs and coordination of resistance pathways across cell compartments provides flexibility to fine-tune immune outputs. Furthermore, a number of NLRs function close to the nuclear chromatin by balancing actions of defense-repressing and defense-activating transcription factors to program cells dynamically for effective disease resistance.
Attempting to achieve long-lasting and stable resistance using uniformly deployed rice varieties is not a sustainable approach. The real situation appears to be much more complex and dynamic, one in which pathogens quickly adapt to resistant varieties. To prevent disease epidemics, deployment should be customized and this decision will require interdisciplinary actions. This perspective article aims to highlight the current progress on disease resistance deployment to control bacterial blight in rice. Although the model system rice−Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae has distinctive features that underpin the need for a case-by-case analysis, strategies to integrate those elements into a unique decision tool could be easily extended to other crops.
Gerbert Sylvestre Dossa, Adam H. Sparks, Casiana Vera Cruz and Ricardo Oliva
Host resistance is the most economical, effective and ecologically sustainable method of controlling diseases in crop plants. In bread wheat, despite the high number of resistance loci that have been cataloged to date, only few have been cloned, underlying the need for genomics-guided investigations capable of providing a prompt and acute knowledge on the identity of effective resistance genes that can be used in breeding programs. Proteins with a nucleotide-binding site (NBS) encoded by the major plant disease resistance (R) genes play an important role in the responses of plants to various pathogens. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of NBS-encoding genes within the whole wheat genome was performed, and the genome scale characterization of this gene family was established. From the recently published wheat genome sequence, we used a data mining and automatic prediction pipeline to identify 580 complete ORF candidate NBS-encoding genes and 1,099 partial-ORF ones. Among complete gene models, 464 were longer than 200 aa, among them 436 had less than 70 % of sequence identity to each other. This gene models set was deeply characterized. (1) First, we have analyzed domain architecture and identified, in addition to typical domain combinations, the presence of particular domains like signal peptides, zinc fingers, kinases, heavy-metal-associated and WRKY DNA-binding domains. (2) Functional and expression annotation via homology searches in protein and transcript databases, based on sufficient criteria, enabled identifying similar proteins for 60 % of the studied gene models and expression evidence for 13 % of them. (3) Shared orthologous groups were defined using NBS-domain proteins of rice and Brachypodium distachyon. (4) Finally, alignment of the 436 NBS-containing gene models to the full set of scaffolds from the IWGSC’s wheat chromosome survey sequence enabled high-stringence anchoring to chromosome arms. The distribution of the R genes was found balanced on the three wheat sub-genomes. In contrast, at chromosome scale, 50 % of members of this gene family were localized on 6 of the 21 wheat chromosomes and ~22 % of them were localized on homeologous group 7. The results of this study provide a detailed analysis of the largest family of plant disease resistance genes in allohexaploid wheat. Some structural traits reported had not been previously identified and the genome-derived data were confronted with those stored in databases outlining the functional specialization of members of this family. The large reservoir of NBS-type genes presented and discussed will, firstly, form an important framework for marker-assisted improvement of resistance in wheat, and, secondly, open up new perspectives for a better understanding of the evolution dynamics of this gene family in grass species and in polyploid systems.
Xanthomonas albilineans causes leaf scald, a lethal disease of sugarcane. Compared to other species of Xanthomonas, X. albilineans exhibits distinctive pathogenic mechanisms, ecology and taxonomy. Its genome, which has experienced significant erosion, has unique genomic features. It lacks two loci required for pathogenicity in other plant pathogenic species of Xanthomonas: the xanthan gum biosynthesis and the Hrp-T3SS (hypersensitive response and pathogenicity-type three secretion system) gene clusters. Instead, X. albilineans harbours in its genome an SPI-1 (Salmonella pathogenicity island-1) T3SS gene cluster usually found in animal pathogens. X. albilineans produces a potent DNA gyrase inhibitor called albicidin, which blocks chloroplast differentiation, resulting in the characteristic white foliar stripe symptoms. The antibacterial activity of albicidin also confers on X. albilineans a competitive advantage against rival bacteria during sugarcane colonization. Recent chemical studies have uncovered the unique structure of albicidin and allowed us to partially elucidate its fascinating biosynthesis apparatus, which involves an enigmatic hybrid PKS/NRPS (polyketide synthase/non-ribosomal peptide synthetase) machinery.
Isabelle Pieretti, Alexander Pesic, Daniel Petras, Monique Royer, Roderich D. Süssmuth and Stéphane Cociancich
We determined the draft genome sequence of the Xylella fastidiosa CoDiRO strain, which has been isolated from olive plants in southern Italy (Apulia). It is associated with olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS) and characterized by extensive scorching and desiccation of leaves and twigs.
Giampetruzzi A, Chiumenti M, Saponari M, Donvito G, Italiano A, Loconsole G, Boscia D, Cariddi C, Martelli GP, Saldarelli P.
Perception of pathogen (or microbe)-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs/MAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is a key component of plant innate immunity. The Arabidopsis PRR EF-Tu receptor (EFR) recognizes the bacterial PAMP elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and its derived peptide elf18. Previous work revealed that transgenic expression of AtEFR in Solanaceae confers elf18 responsiveness and broad-spectrum bacterial disease resistance.In this study, we developed a set of bioassays to study the activation of PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) in wheat. We generated transgenic wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants expressing AtEFR driven by the constitutive rice actin promoter and tested their response to elf18.We show that transgenic expression of AtEFR in wheat confers recognition of elf18, as measured by the induction of immune marker genes and callose deposition. When challenged with the cereal bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. oryzae, transgenic EFR wheat lines had reduced lesion size and bacterial multiplication.These results demonstrate that AtEFR can be transferred successfully from dicot to monocot species, further revealing that immune signalling pathways are conserved across these distant phyla. As novel PRRs are identified, their transfer between plant families represents a useful strategy for enhancing resistance to pathogens in crops.
You will find the summer programs of the University of Angers in the field of health sciences and plant science, which will be held from June 29th to July 10th 2015. Our summer schools offer an unique opportunity for students from all over the world to enjoy Science in a beautiful environment. Each program entirely conducted in English includes conferences by international researchers, hands-on activities, visits of research facilities and biotech companies and an attractive social program. Come and meet in Angers international students who share your passion for Science!
Plenary conference by Prof. Gareth Williams, renowned professor.
The 2015 Molecular Biology of Plant Pathogens (MBPP) conference will be held at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol on the 8th-9th April 2015. This will be the 23rd MBPP conference!
UWE is the largest university in the South West of England with over 30,000 students and approximately 3,500 staff. UWE has a long and interesting history starting life as a Merchant Venturer’s Navigation College in 1595 and undergoing many changes before gaining University status in 1992. Today UWE attracts students from all over the UK as well as a significant number of international students from 140 countries worldwide.
UWE has an active research community which makes a significant contribution to advances in industry, commerce, health and technology both nationally and internationally. The organisers of this years’ MBPP conference, Professor Dawn Arnold, Dr Carrie Brady and Dr Helen Neale work within the Centre for Research in Bioscience (CRIB) which leads world-class research in areas of strategic importance including plant science, agri-food, bio-sensing and biomedicine.
MBPP provides an excellent forum for networking between junior and senior scientists. The primary focus is on providing PhD students and post-doctoral scientists the opportunity to give oral presentations in front of a wide range of national and international researchers.
There will also be three keynote talks by internationally renowned scientists Professor Pietro Spanu (Imperial College), Dr Chris Ridout (John Innes Centre) and Professor Teresa Coutinho (Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, South Africa). Please see our biographies tab for more information on these speakers.
Bananas (Musa spp.) belong to the most important global food commodities, and their cultivation represents the world's largest monoculture. Although the plant-associated microbiome has substantial influence on plant growth and health, there is a lack of knowledge of the banana microbiome and its influencing factors. We studied the impact of (i) biogeography, and (ii) agroforestry on the banana-associated gammaproteobacterial microbiome analyzing plants grown in smallholder farms in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Profiles of 16S rRNA genes revealed high abundances of Pseudomonadales, Enterobacteriales, Xanthomonadales, and Legionellales. An extraordinary high diversity of the gammaproteobacterial microbiota was observed within the endophytic microenvironments (endorhiza and pseudostem), which was similar in both countries. Enterobacteria were identified as dominant group of above-ground plant parts (pseudostem and leaves). Neither biogeography nor agroforestry showed a statistically significant impact on the gammaproteobacterial banana microbiome in general. However, indicator species for each microenvironment and country, as well as for plants grown in Coffea intercropping systems with and without agri-silvicultural production of different Fabaceae trees (Inga spp. in Nicaragua and Erythrina poeppigiana in Costa Rica) could be identified. For example, banana plants grown in agroforestry systems were characterized by an increase of potential plant-beneficial bacteria, like Pseudomonas and Stenotrophomonas, and on the other side by a decrease of Erwinia. Hence, this study could show that as a result of legume-based agroforestry the indigenous banana-associated gammaproteobacterial community noticeably shifted.
Martina Köberl, Miguel Dita, Alfonso Martinuz, Charles Staver, and Gabriele Berg
En agriculture, les agents phytopathogènes (champignons, virus, bactéries) sont responsables de pertes considérables de rendements et de qualité. Ces pathologies combinées avec la croissance démographique mondiale et les changements climatiques constituent un risque majeur pour la sécurité alimentaire. Pour mettre en place des actions appropriées il est indispensable de détecter, d'identifier et de mieux connaitre ces organismes. Après le congres de Paris en 2012, la SFP continue son compagnonnage et, cette année, le colloque se tiendra en Alsace à Colmar du 2 au 5 juin 2015 au CREF (centre de rencontres, d'échanges et de formation) au 5 Rue des jardins.
Ce colloque, est ouvert aux phytopathologistes français et étrangers. C'est une opportunité d’aborder tous les domaines de la santé des végétaux et de faciliter le dialogue entre chercheurs à thématiques différentes. Pour présenter vos travaux, vous informer des recherches récentes dans ce domaine en France et au-delà, faire des rencontres et des échanges entre collègues, venez au 9éme colloque de la SFP, qui propose un programme passionnant, tant scientifique que touristique. C'est aussi l'occasion de découvrir la gastronomie alsacienne et les richesses touristiques de Colmar.
The last 20 years have provided a sophisticated understanding of how plants recognise relatively conserved microbial patterns to activate defence. In recent years DNA sequencing allowed genomes and transcriptomes of eukaryotic rusts and mildew pathogens to be studied and high-throughput imaging permit the study and visualisation of intracellular interactions during pathogenesis and defence.
We will present many aspects of plant- microbe interactions including:
- gene discovery - genome analysis - intra-cellular interactions with high-throughput imaging technology - mechanistic understanding of cellular and molecular processes to translational activities
The focus on the dynamic and interactive practical sessions will naturally promote strong interactions between lecturers and participants.
Members of the genus Xanthomonas are among the most important phytopathogens. A key feature of Xanthomonas pathogenesis is the translocation of type III secretion system (T3SS) effector proteins (T3SEs) into the plant target cells via a T3SS. Several T3SEs and a murein lytic transglycosylase gene (mlt, required for citrus canker symptoms) are found associated with three transposition-related genes in Xanthomonas citri plasmid pXAC64. These are flanked by short inverted repeats (IRs). The region was identified as a transposon, TnXax1, with typical Tn3 family features, including a transposase and two recombination genes. Two 14-bp palindromic sequences within a 193-bp potential resolution site occur between the recombination genes. Additional derivatives carrying different T3SEs and other passenger genes occur in different Xanthomonas species. The T3SEs include transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs). Certain TALEs are flanked by the same IRs as found in TnXax1 to form mobile insertion cassettes (MICs), suggesting that they may be transmitted horizontally. A significant number of MICs carrying other passenger genes (including a number of TALE genes) were also identified, flanked by the same TnXax1 IRs and delimited by 5-bp target site duplications. We conclude that a large fraction of T3SEs, including individual TALEs and potential pathogenicity determinants, have spread by transposition and that TnXax1, which exhibits all of the essential characteristics of a functional transposon, may be involved in driving MIC transposition. We also propose that TALE genes may diversify by fork slippage during the replicative Tn3 family transposition. These mechanisms may play a crucial role in the emergence of Xanthomonas pathogenicity.
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