During infection, the phytopathogenic enterobacterium Dickeya dadantii has to cope with iron-limiting conditions and the production of reactive oxygen species by plant cells. A tight control of the bacterial intracellular iron content is necessary for full virulence of D. dadantii: previous studies have shown that the ferritin FtnA and the bacterioferrtin Bfr, devoted to iron storage, contribute differentially to the virulence of this species. In this work, we investigated the role of the Dps miniferritin in iron homeostasis in D. dadantii. We constructed a Dps-deficient mutant by reverse genetics. This mutant grew like the wild-type stain under iron starvation and showed no decreased iron content. However, the dps mutant displayed an increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide in comparison to the wild-type strain. This hydrogen peroxide susceptibility only occurs when bacteria are in the stationary phase. Unlike the bfr and the ftnA mutants, the dps mutant is not affected in its pathogenicity on host plants. The dps gene expression is induced at the stationary phase of growth. The Sigma S transcriptional factor is necessary for this control. Furthermore, dps expression is positively regulated by the oxidative stress response regulator OxyR during the exponential growth phase, after hydrogen peroxide treatment. These results indicate that the Dps miniferritin from D. dadantii has a minor role in iron homeostasis, but is important in conferring tolerance to hydrogen peroxide and for survival of cells that enter the stationary phase of growth.
Dickeya dadantii is a plant-pathogenic enterobacterium responsible for the soft rot disease of many plants of economic importance. We present here the sequence of strain 3937, a strain widely used as a model system for research on the molecular biology and pathogenicity of this group of bacteria.
The interaction between pathogenic microbes and their hosts is determined by survival strategies on both sides. As a result of its redox properties, iron is vital for the growth and proliferation of nearly all organisms, including pathogenic bacteria. In bacteria-vertebrate interactions, competition for this essential metal is critical for the outcome of the infection. The role of iron in the virulence of plant pathogenic bacteria has only been explored in a few pathosystems in the past. However, in the last 5?years, intensive research has provided new insights into the mechanisms of iron homeostasis in phytopathogenic bacteria that are involved in virulence. This review, which includes important plant pathosystems, discusses the recent advances in the understanding of iron transport and homeostasis during plant pathogenesis. By summarizing the recent progress, we wish to provide an updated view clarifying the various roles played by this metal in the virulence of bacterial phytopathogens as a nutritional and regulatory element. The complex intertwining of iron metabolism and oxidative stress during infection is emphasized.
Soft-rot Enterobacteriaceae (SRE), which belong to the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya, consist mainly of broad host-range pathogens that cause wilt, rot, and blackleg diseases on a wide range of plants. They are found in plants, insects, soil, and water in agricultural regions worldwide. SRE encode all six known protein secretion systems present in gram-negative bacteria, and these systems are involved in attacking host plants and competing bacteria. They also produce and detect multiple types of small molecules to coordinate pathogenesis, modify the plant environment, attack competing microbes, and perhaps to attract insect vectors. This review integrates new information about the role protein secretion and detection and production of ions and small molecules play in soft-rot pathogenicity.
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