Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant–microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM), as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales). Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages.
The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history.
Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by researchers from Oregon State University, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and five other institutions, concludes that Phytophthora infestans originated in this valley and co-evolved with potatoes over hundreds or maybe a few thousand years, and later spread repeatedly to much of the world.
Based on, 1) the TAL effector-DNA binding code, 2) gene expression data of Xc and XaC-infiltrated sweet orange leaves, and 3) citrus hypocotyls transformed with PthA2, PthA4 or PthC1, we have identified a collection of Citrus sinensis genes potentially targeted by Xc and XaC TAL effectors. Our results suggest that similar with other strains of Xanthomonas TAL effectors, PthA2 and PthA4, and PthC1 to some extent, functionally converge. In particular, towards induction of genes involved in the auxin and gibberellin synthesis and response, cell division, and defense response. We also present evidence indicating that the TAL effectors act as transcriptional repressors and that the best scoring predicted DNA targets of PthA"s" and PthC"s" in citrus promoters predominantly overlap with or localize near to TATA boxes of core promoters, supporting the idea that TAL effectors interact with the host basal transcriptional machinery to recruit the RNA pol II and start transcription.
Perception of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) triggers various defense responses in plants. This MAMP-triggered immunity plays a major role in the plant resistance against various pathogens. To clarify the molecular basis of the specific recognition of chitin oligosaccharides by the rice PRR, CEBiP (chitin-elicitor binding protein), as well as the formation and activation of the receptor complex, biochemical, NMR spectroscopic, and computational studies were performed. Deletion and domain-swapping experiments showed that the central lysine motif in the ectodomain of CEBiP is essential for the binding of chitin oligosaccharides. Epitope mapping by NMR spectroscopy indicated the preferential binding of longer-chain chitin oligosaccharides, such as heptamer-octamer, to CEBiP, and also the importance of N-acetyl groups for the binding. Molecular modeling/docking studies clarified the molecular interaction between CEBiP and chitin oligosaccharides and indicated the importance of Ile122 in the central lysine motif region for ligand binding, a notion supported by site-directed mutagenesis. Based on these results, it was indicated that two CEBiP molecules simultaneously bind to one chitin oligosaccharide from the opposite side, resulting in the dimerization of CEBiP. The model was further supported by the observations that the addition of (GlcNAc)8 induced dimerization of the ectodomain of CEBiP in vitro, and the dimerization and (GlcNAc)8-induced reactive oxygen generation were also inhibited by a unique oligosaccharide, (GlcNβ1,4GlcNAc)4, which is supposed to have N-acetyl groups only on one side of the molecule. Based on these observations, we proposed a hypothetical model for the ligand-induced activation of a receptor complex, involving both CEBiP and Oryza sativa chitin-elicitor receptor kinase-1.
Rice stripe, a virus disease, transmitted by a small brown planthopper (SBPH), has greatly reduced production of japonica rice in East Asia, especially in China. Although we have made great progress in mapping resistance genes, little is known about the mechanism of resistance.
By de novo transcriptome assembling, we gained sufficient transcript data to analyze changes in gene expression of early interaction in response to SBPH and RSV infection in rice. Respectively 648 and 937 DEGs were detected from the disease-resistant (Liaonong 979) and the susceptible (Fengjin) varieties, most of which were up-regulated. We found 37 genes related to insect resistance, which mainly included genes for jasmonate-induced protein, TIFY protein, lipoxygenase, as well as trypsin inhibitor genes and transcription factor genes. In the interaction process between RSV and rice, 87 genes were thought to be related to RSV resistance; these primarily included 12 peroxidase biosynthesis genes, 12 LRR receptor-like protein kinase genes, 6 genes coding pathogenesis-related proteins, 4 glycine-rich cell wall structural protein genes, 2 xyloglucan hydrolase genes and a cellulose synthase. The results indicate that the rice-pathogen interaction happened both in disease-resistant and susceptible varieties, and some genes related to JA biosynthesis played key roles in the interaction between SBPHs and rice. When rice was infected by RSV a hypersensitive reaction (HR) in the disease-resistant variety was suppressed, which resulted from an increase in peroxidase expression and down-regulation of LRR receptor-like protein kinase and pathogenesis-related proteins, while, the changes of peroxidase biosynthesis, glycine-rich cell wall structural protein, cellulose synthase and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase could lead to the strengthening of physical barriers of rice, which may be an important resistance mechanism to RSV in rice.
Here, we report, for the first time, targeted mutagenesis in Zea mays using TALENs and the CRISPR/Cas system. We designed five TALENs targeting 4 genes, namely ZmPDS, ZmIPK1A, ZmIPK, ZmMRP4, and obtained targeting efficiencies of up to 23.1% in protoplasts, and about 13.3% to 39.1% of the transgenic plants were somatic mutations. Also, we constructed two gRNAs targeting the ZmIPK gene in maize protoplasts, at frequencies of 16.4% and 19.1%, respectively. In addition the CRISPR/Cas system induced targeted mutations in Zea mays protoplasts with efficiencies (13.1%) similar to those obtained with TALENs (9.1%). Our results show that both TALENs and the CRISPR/Cas system can be used for genome modification in maize.
Inferring invasion routes and identifying reservoirs of diversity of plant pathogens are essential in proposing new strategies for their control. Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungus responsible for rice blast disease, has invaded all rice growing areas. Virulent genotypes regularly (re)emerge, causing rapid resistance breakdowns. However, the world-wide genetic subdivision of M. oryzae populations on rice and its past history of invasion have never been elucidated.In order to investigate the centers of diversity, origin and migration of M. oryzae on rice, we analyzed the genetic diversity of 55 populations from 15 countries.Three genetic clusters were identified world-wide. Asia was the center of diversity and the origin of most migrations to other continents. In Asia, two centers of diversity were revealed in the Himalayan foothills: South China–Laos–North Thailand, and western Nepal. Sexual reproduction persisted only in the South China–Laos–North Thailand region, which was identified as the putative center of origin of all M. oryzae populations on rice.Our results suggest a scenario of early evolution of M. oryzae on rice that matches the past history of rice domestication. This study confirms that crop domestication may have considerable influence on the pestification process of natural enemies.
Bacterial blight (BB), caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), is not only a disease devastating rice production worldwide but also an ideal model system for studying the interaction between plants and their bacterial pathogens. The rice near-isogenic line (NIL) CBB23, derived from a cross between a wild rice Oryza rufipogon accession (RBB16) and a susceptible indica rice variety Jingang 30, is highly resistant to all field Xoo strains tested so far. Although the BB-resistance of CBB23 has been widely used in rice breeding programs, the mechanism of its extremely broad-spectrum resistance remains unknown. Here, we report the molecular cloning of an avirulence gene, designated as avrXa23, from Xoo strain PXO99A. We validate that AvrXa23, a novel transcription activator-like effector, specifically triggers the broad-spectrum BB-resistance in CBB23. Prevalence of avrXa23 in all 38 Xoo strains surveyed may explain the broad-spectrum feature of BB-resistance in CBB23. The results will significantly facilitate the molecular cloning of the corresponding R-gene in the host, and provide new insights into our understanding of molecular mechanism for broad-spectrum disease resistance in plants.
Innate immune responses are induced in plants and animals through perception of Damage Associated Molecular Patterns. These immune responses are suppressed by pathogens during infection. A number of studies have focussed on identifying functions of plant pathogenic bacteria that are involved in suppression of Pathogen Associated Molecular Pattern induced immune responses. In comparison, there is very little information on functions used by plant pathogens to suppress Damage Associated Molecular Pattern induced immune responses. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, a gram negative bacterial pathogen of rice, secretes hydrolytic enzymes such as LipA (Lipase/Esterase) that damage rice cell walls and induce innate immune responses. Here, we show that Agrobacterium mediated transient transfer of the gene for XopN, a X. oryzae pv. oryzae type 3 secretion (T3S) system effector, results in suppression of rice innate immune responses induced by LipA. A xopN- mutant of X. oryzae pv. oryzae retains the ability to suppress these innate immune responses indicating the presence of other functionally redundant proteins. In transient transfer assays, we have assessed the ability of 15 other X. oryzae pv. oryzae T3S secreted effectors to suppress rice innate immune responses. Amongst these proteins, XopQ, XopX and XopZ are suppressors of LipA induced innate immune responses. A mutation in any one of the xopN, xopQ, xopX or xopZ genes causes partial virulence deficiency while a xopN- xopX- double mutant exhibits a greater virulence deficiency. A xopN- xopQ- xopX- xopZ- quadruple mutant of X. oryzae pv. oryzae induces callose deposition, an innate immune response, similar to a X. oryzae pv. oryzae T3S- mutant in rice leaves. Overall, these results indicate that multiple T3S secreted proteins of X. oryzae pv. oryzae can suppress cell wall damage induced rice innate immune responses.
Phytopathogenic bacteria of the Xanthomonas genus cause severe diseases on hundreds host plants, including economically important crops, such as rice, wheat, cassava, banana, mango, tomato, citrus, cabbage, pepper, bean and cotton. Diseases occurring in nature comprise black rot, leaf/fruit spot, canker, wilt, leaf blight and streak. These bacteria are present worldwide where some phytopathogenic strains are emergent or re-emergent and, consequently, dramatically impact agriculture, economy and food safety.
Xanthomonas bacteria provide excellent models for genomic studies and hundreds of Xanthomonas genome sequences have been obtained since 2002 and many other are underway (www.xanthomonas.org/genomes.html). Comparative genomics between and/or within bacterial species and/or pathovars will be of a great help to decipher commonalities and particularities that underly host range definition.
Most of the Xanthomonas possesses a type III secretion system (T3SS) that is required for injection of various effectors inside plant cells, thus contributing to pathogenicity. Transcription Activator-Like (tal) genes, encode bacterial transcription factors which are injected through the T3SS by many Xanthomonas to promote pathogenicity. Some Ralstonia, Bulkholderia and marine bacteria also express TAL-like proteins which function and mode of action is starting to be deciphered. TALs are addressed to the plant nucleus where they activate plant gene expression by direct binding to the corresponding promoter sequences. Targeted genes essentially act as susceptibility genes. A few years after the cracking of the code allowing the TAL/Host promoter sequence recognition, combined to the ever-growing availability of plant genomes, many efforts have been done to identify TAL targets. These data collected for many Xanthomonas/host pathosystems will assuredly help breeders to breed resistance resistant in important crops.
In this Research Topic we aim to collect manuscripts covering the current knowledge of Xanthomonas genomics and effectomics, with a special focus on TAL effector biology. Specifically, we encourage the submission of manuscripts (Original Research, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Perspective and Opinion) covering the following topics: 1. Manuscripts reporting genome sequencing of Xanthomonas strains. 2. Manuscripts describing functional and comparative genomics in Xanthomonas species/pathovars. 3. Manuscripts describing functional studies on Xanthomonas type III effectors. 3. Manuscripts describing discovery, evolution, bio-informatics and functional genomics of TAL effectors and their targets in plant genomes, as well as for TAL-like in non-Xanthomonas bacteria. 4. Manuscripts describing applications of TAL effector research for resistance breeding in crops.
We anticipate that this Research Topic will be of importance for plant pathologists and breeders.
Plant resistance (R) genes are a crucial component in plant defence against pathogens1. Although R genes often fail to provide durable resistance in an agricultural context, they frequently persist as long-lived balanced polymorphisms in nature2, 3, 4. Standard theory explains the maintenance of such polymorphisms through a balance of the costs and benefits of resistance and virulence in a tightly coevolving host–pathogen pair5, 6. However, many plant–pathogen interactions lack such specificity7. Whether, and how, balanced polymorphisms are maintained in diffusely interacting species8 is unknown. Here we identify a naturally interacting R gene and effector pair in Arabidopsis thaliana and its facultative plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae. The protein encoded by the R gene RPS5 recognizes an AvrPphB homologue (AvrPphB2) and exhibits a balanced polymorphism that has been maintained for over 2 million years (ref. 3). Consistent with the presence of an ancient balanced polymorphism, the R gene confers a benefit when plants are infected with P. syringae carrying avrPphB2 but also incurs a large cost in the absence of infection. RPS5alleles are maintained at intermediate frequencies in populations globally, suggesting ubiquitous selection for resistance. However, the presence of P. syringae carrying avrPphB is probably insufficient to explain the RPS5 polymorphism. First, avrPphB homologues occur at very low frequencies in P. syringae populations on A. thaliana. Second, AvrPphB only rarely confers a virulence benefit to P. syringae on A. thaliana. Instead, we find evidence that selection for RPS5 involves multiple non-homologous effectors and multiple pathogen species. These results and an associated model suggest that the R gene polymorphism in A. thaliana may not be maintained through a tightly coupled interaction involving a single coevolved R gene and effector pair. More likely, the stable polymorphism is maintained through complex and diffuse community-wide interactions.
AvrBs3, the founding member of the Xanthomonas transcription-activator-like effectors (TALEs), is translocated into the plant cell where it localizes to the nucleus and acts as transcription factor. The DNA-binding domain of AvrBs3 consists of 17.5 nearly-identical 34 amino acid-repeats. Each repeat specifies binding to one base in the target DNA via amino acid residues 12 and 13 termed repeat variable diresidue (RVD). Natural target sequences of TALEs are generally preceded by a thymine (T0), which is coordinated by a tryptophan residue (W232) in a degenerated repeat upstream of the canonical repeats. To investigate the necessity of T0 and the conserved tryptophan for AvrBs3-mediated gene activation we tested TALE mutant derivatives on target sequences preceded by all possible four bases. In addition, we performed domain swaps with TalC from a rice pathogenic Xanthomonas because TalC lacks the tryptophan residue, and the TalC target sequence is preceded by cytosine. We show that T0 works best and that T0 specificity depends on the repeat number and overall RVD-composition. T0 and W232 appear to be particularly important if the RVD of the first repeat is HD (‘rep1 effect’). Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of T0 recognition by TALE proteins and are important for TALE-based biotechnological applications.
It has been demonstrated that WRKY genes were not only involved in the activation of plant defence systems, but also played key roles in the control of plants' response to environmental stimuli.
For phytopathogen treatment, 2-week-old seedlings were sprayed with Fusarium graminearum (F0968) and two strains of Magnaporthe grisea (Guy11, avirulent ACE1 genotype; PH14, virulent ACE1 genotype) for 4 or 12 h. The BdWRKY array constituted of 86 primer sets representing all members of the B. distachyon WRKY gene family. The expression of the 86 BdWRKY genes was assessed upon the qPCR result analysis.
The results showed that the expression of BdWRKY genes was rapidly regulated by stresses and phytohormones, and there was a strong correlation between promoter cis-elements and the phytohormones-induced BdWRKY gene expression.
Human activity has been shown to considerably affect the spread of dangerous pests and pathogens worldwide. Therefore, strict regulations of international trade exist for particularly harmful pathogenic organisms. Phytophthora plurivora, which is not subject to regulations, is a plant pathogen frequently found on a broad range of host species, both in natural and artificial environments. It is supposed to be native to Europe while resident populations are also present in the US. We characterized a hierarchical sample of isolates from Europe and the US and conducted coalescent-, migration, and population genetic analysis of sequence and microsatellite data, to determine the pathways of spread and the demographic history of this pathogen. We found P. plurivora populations to be moderately diverse but not geographically structured. High levels of gene flow were observed within Europe and unidirectional from Europe to the US. Coalescent analyses revealed a signal of a recent expansion of the global P. plurivora population. Our study shows that P. plurivora has most likely been spread around the world by nursery trade of diseased plant material. In particular, P. plurivora was introduced into the US from Europe. International trade has allowed the pathogen to colonize new environments and/or hosts, resulting in population growth.
Genes encoding plant nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins confer dominant resistance to diverse pathogens. The wild-type potato NB-LRR protein Rx confers resistance against a single strain of potato virus X (PVX), whereas LRR mutants protect against both a second PVX strain and the distantly related poplar mosaic virus (PopMV). In one of the Rx mutants there was a cost to the broad-spectrum resistance because the response to PopMV was transformed from a mild disease on plants carrying wild-type Rx to a trailing necrosis that killed the plant. To explore the use of secondary mutagenesis to eliminate this cost of broad-spectrum resistance, we performed random mutagenesis of the N-terminal domains of this broad-recognition version of Rx and isolated four mutants with a stronger response against the PopMV coat protein due to enhanced activation sensitivity. These mutations are located close to the nucleotide-binding pocket, a highly conserved structure that likely controls the “switch” between active and inactive NB-LRR conformations. Stable transgenic plants expressing one of these versions of Rx are resistant to the strains of PVX and the PopMV that previously caused trailing necrosis. We conclude from this work that artificial evolution of NB-LRR disease resistance genes in crops can be enhanced by modification of both activation and recognition phases, to both accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative aspects of disease resistance.
The phenomenon of cross-resistance allows plants to acquire resistance to a broad range of stresses after previous exposure to one specific factor. Although this stress–response relationship has been known for decades, the sequence of events that underpin cross-resistance remains unknown. Our experiments revealed that susceptible potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Bintje) undergoing aluminum (Al) stress at the root level showed enhanced defense responses correlated with reduced disease symptoms after leaf inoculation with Phytophthora infestans. The protection capacity of Al to subsequent stress was associated with the local accumulation of H2O2 in roots and systemic activation of salicylic acid (SA) and nitric oxide (NO) dependent pathways. The most crucial Al-mediated changes involved coding of NO message in an enhanced S-nitrosothiol formation in leaves tuned with an abundant SNOs accumulation in the main vein of leaves. Al-induced distal NO generation was correlated with the overexpression of PR-2 and PR-3 at both mRNA and protein activity levels. In turn, after contact with a pathogen we observed early up-regulation of SA-mediated defense genes, e.g. PR1,PR-2, PR-3 and PAL, and subsequent disease limitation. Taken together Al exposure induced distal changes in the biochemical stress imprint, facilitating more effective responses to a subsequent pathogen attack.
Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato strain DC3000 (Pto) delivers several effector proteins promoting virulence, including HopM1, into plant cells via type III secretion. HopM1 contributes to full virulence of Pto by inducing degradation of Arabidopsis proteins, including AtMIN7, an ADP ribosylation factor-guanine nucleotide exchange factor. Pseudomonas syringae pvphaseolicola strain NPS3121 (Pph) lacks a functional HopM1 and elicits robust defenses inArabidopsis thaliana, including accumulation of pathogenesis related 1 (PR-1) protein and deposition of callose-containing cell wall fortifications. We have examined the effects of heterologously expressed HopM1Pto on Pph-induced defenses. HopM1 suppresses Pph-induced PR-1 expression, a widely used marker for salicylic acid (SA) signaling and systemic acquired resistance. Surprisingly, HopM1 reduces PR-1 expression without affecting SA accumulation and also suppresses the low levels of PR-1 expression apparent in SA-signaling deficient plants. Further, HopM1 enhances the growth of Pto in SA-signaling deficient plants. AtMIN7 contributes to Pph-induced PR-1 expression. However, HopM1 fails to degrade AtMIN7 during Pph infection and suppresses Pph-induced PR-1 expression and callose deposition in wild-type and atmin7 plants. We also show that the HopM1-mediated suppression of PR-1 expression is not observed in plants lacking the TGA transcription factor, TGA3. Our data indicate that HopM1 promotes bacterial virulence independent of suppressing SA-signaling and links TGA3, AtMIN7, and other HopM1 targets to pathways distinct from the canonical SA-signaling pathway contributing to PR-1 expression and callose deposition. Thus, efforts to understand this key effector must consider multiple targets and unexpected outputs of its action.
Scooped from: BMC Genomics, 2013 (/via Nicolas Denancé Scoop.it)
Authors: Nemo Peeters, Sébastien Carrère, Maria Anisimova, Laure Plener, Anne-Claire Cazalé and Stephane Genin
Ralstonia solanacearum is a soil-borne beta-proteobacterium that causes bacterial wilt disease in many food crops and is a major problem for agriculture in intertropical regions. R. solanacearum is a heterogeneous species, both phenotypically and genetically, and is considered as a species complex. Pathogenicity of R. solanacearum relies on the Type III secretion system that injects Type III effector (T3E) proteins into plant cells. T3E collectively perturb host cell processes and modulate plant immunity to enable bacterial infection. We provide the catalogue of T3E in the R. solanacearum species complex, as well as candidates in newly sequenced strains. 95 T3E orthologous groups were defined on phylogenetic bases and ordered using a uniform nomenclature. This curated T3E catalog is available on a public website and a bioinformatic pipeline has been designed to rapidly predict T3E genes in newly sequenced strains. Systematical analyses were performed to detect lateral T3E gene transfer events and identify T3E genes under positive selection. Our analyses also pinpoint the RipF translocon proteins as major discriminating determinants among the phylogenetic lineages. Establishment of T3E repertoires in strains representatives of the R. solanacearum biodiversity allowed determining a set of 22 T3E present in all the strains but provided no clues on host specificity determinants. The definition of a standardized nomenclature and the optimization of predictive tools will pave the way to understanding how variation of these repertoires is correlated to the diversification of this species complex and how they contribute to the different strain pathotypes.
Sugar metabolism and sugar signalling are not only critical for plant growth and development, but are also important for stress responses. However, how sugar homeostasis is involved in plant defence against pathogen attack in the model crop rice remains largely unknown. In this study, we observed that the grains of gif1, a loss-of-function mutant of the cell wall invertase gene GRAIN INCOMPLETE FILLING 1 (GIF1), were hypersusceptible to postharvest fungal pathogens, with decreased levels of sugars and a thinner glume cell wall in comparison with the wild-type. Interestingly, constitutive expression of GIF1 enhanced resistance to both the rice bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. The GIF1-overexpressing (GIF1-OE) plants accumulated higher levels of glucose, fructose and sucrose compared with the wild-type plants. More importantly, higher levels of callose were deposited in GIF1-OE plants during pathogen infection. Moreover, the cell wall was much thicker in the infection sites of the GIF1-OE plants when compared with the wild-type plants. We also found that defence-related genes were constitutively activated in the GIF1-OE plants. Taken together, our study reveals that sugar homeostasis mediated by GIF1 plays an important role in constitutive and induced physical and chemical defence.