The elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) receptor (EFR) in cruciferous plants specifically recognizes the N-terminal acetylated elf18 region of bacterial EF-Tu and thereby activates plant immunity. It has been demonstrated that Arabidopsis EFR confers broad-spectrum bacterial resistance in the EFR transgenic solanaceous plants. Here, the transgenic rice plants (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica cv. Zhonghua 17 (ZH17))and cell cultures with constitutive expression of AtEFR were developed to investigate whether AtEFR senses EF-Tu and thus enhances bacterial resistance in the monocot plants. We demonstrated that the Xanthomonas oryzae-derived elf18 peptide induced oxidative burst and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in the AtEFR transgenic rice cells and plants, respectively. Pathogenesis-related genes, such as OsPBZ1, were up-regulated dramatically in transgenic rice plant and cell lines in response to elf18 stimulation. Importantly, pretreatment with elf18 triggered strong resistance to X. oryzae pv. oryzae in the transgenic plants, which is largely dependent on the AtEFR expression level. These plants also exhibited enhanced resistance to rice bacterial brown stripe, but not to rice fungal blast. Collectively, the results indicate that the rice plants with heterologous expression of AtEFR recognize bacterial EF-Tu and exhibit enhanced broad-spectrum bacterial disease resistance and that pattern recognition receptor-mediated immunity may be manipulated across the two plant classes, dicots and monocots.
Ustilaginoidea virens (Cooke) Takah is an ascomycetous fungus that causes rice false smut, a devastating emerging disease worldwide. Here we report a 39.4 Mb draft genome sequence of U. virens that encodes 8,426 predicted genes. The genome has ~25% repetitive sequences that have been affected by repeat-induced point mutations. Evolutionarily, U. virens is close to the entomopathogenic Metarhizium spp., suggesting potential host jumping across kingdoms. U. virens possesses reduced gene inventories for polysaccharide degradation, nutrient uptake and secondary metabolism, which may result from adaptations to the specific floret infection and biotrophic lifestyles. Consistent with their potential roles in pathogenicity, genes for secreted proteins and secondary metabolism and the pathogen-host interaction database genes are highly enriched in the transcriptome during early infection. We further show that 18 candidate effectors can suppress plant hypersensitive responses. Together, our analyses offer new insights into molecular mechanisms of evolution, biotrophy and pathogenesis of U. virens.
Ustiloxins are cyclopeptide mycotoxins produced by Villosiclava virens, the pathogenic fungus of rice false smut disease. Both resins SP207 and SP700 were screened to show the best adsorption and desorption properties for ustiloxins A and B among 20 commercial macroporous resins. Dynamic adsorption and desorption tests were carried out to optimize the process parameters. The optimal conditions for adsorption of resin SP207 were a processing volume as 32 bed volumes (BV), pH value of 4, and flow rate of 2 BV/h; and those for desorption of resin SP207 were a 40:60 (v/v) ratio of ethanol to water, an eluent volume of 4 BV, pH value of 4 and a flow rate of 3 BV/h. The optimal conditions for adsorption of resin SP700 were a processing volume of 26 BV, pH value as 4, flow rate of 2 BV/h; and those for desorption of resin SP700 were a 30:70 (v/v) ratio of ethanol to water solution as eluent, volume of 4 BV, pH value as 4 and flow rate of 2 BV/h. Under the optimal conditions; the purities of ustiloxins A and B obtained with resin SP207 increased 23.06-fold and 19.78-fold, respectively; and their recoveries were 96.67% and 81.25%; respectively. Similarly; the purities of ustiloxins A and B obtained with resin SP700 increased 14.75-fold and 15.33-fold and their recoveries were 93.65% and 88.64%; respectively. The results show that adsorption and desorption on SP207 and SP700 resins are effective strategies for purifying ustiloxins A and B. The developed methods are beneficial for large-scale preparation and purification of ustiloxins A and B from rice false smut balls.
XA21, as a pattern recognition receptor in rice, senses the quorum-sensing (QS) signal molecule Ax21 secreted by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and mediates hypersensitive response-like immunity against the pathogen. However, for the infection of another pathovar, X. o. pv. oryzicola (Xoc), relatively weak defense responses are observed in XA21-containing rice cultivars. In the present study, we demonstrated that the Xoc ?ax21 mutant caused more severe disease symptoms than the wild type in XA21 rice cv. IRBB21, but not in non-Xa21 rice cv. Taipei 309. The substance(s) secreted by the wild-type Xoc strain, but not those by the ax21 mutant triggered host immunity against Xoo PXO99 ?ax21 in Xa21 rice. Immunoblot analysis corroborated that Xoc, like Xoo, synthesizes and secretes Ax21. Furthermore, the membrane fusion protein RaxA was demonstrated to be required, but the ATP-binding cassette transporter RaxB was dispensable for Ax21 secretion in Xoc. In addition, we demonstrated that Ax21 functions as a QS signal molecule that regulates biofilm formation in Xoc. However, Ax21 signaling is dispensable for bacterial motility, the production of extracellular polysaccharide and protease secretion in Xoc. Interestingly, the two-component system RaxR/H was involved in the regulation of bacterial motility and the regulation was likely independent on Ax21 signaling in Xoc. Taken together, the results indicated that Ax21 secreted by Xoc might induce plant immunity that plays a significant role in rice defense against the pathogen infection.
To accomplish successful infection, pathogens deploy complex strategies to interfere with host defense systems and subvert host physiology to favor pathogen survival and multiplication. Modulation of plant auxin physiology and signaling is emerging as a common virulence strategy for phytobacteria to cause diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms remain largely elusive. We have previously shown that the Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 alters Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) auxin physiology. Here, we report that AvrRpt2 promotes auxin response by stimulating the turnover of auxin/indole acetic acid (Aux/IAA) proteins, the key negative regulators in auxin signaling. AvrRpt2 acts additively with auxin to stimulate Aux/IAA turnover, suggesting distinct, yet proteasome-dependent, mechanisms operated by AvrRpt2 and auxin to control Aux/IAA stability. Cysteine protease activity is required for AvrRpt2-stimulated auxin signaling and Aux/IAA degradation. Importantly, transgenic plants expressing the dominant axr2-1 mutation recalcitrant to AvrRpt2-mediated degradation ameliorated the virulence functions of AvrRpt2 but did not alter the avirulent function mediated by the corresponding RPS2 resistance protein. Thus, promoting auxin response via modulating the stability of the key transcription repressors Aux/IAA is a mechanism used by the bacterial type III effector AvrRpt2 to promote pathogenicity.
Bacterial leaf streak caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) is one of the most important diseases in rice. However, little is known about the pathogenicity mechanisms of Xoc. Here we have investigated the function of three HD-GYP domain regulatory proteins in biofilm formation, the synthesis of virulence factors and virulence of Xoc. Deletion of rpfG resulted in altered production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), abolished virulence on rice and enhanced biofilm formation, but had little effect on the secretion of proteases and motility. In contrast, mutational analysis showed that the other two HD-GYP domain proteins had no effect on virulence factor synthesis and tested phenotypes. Mutation of rpfG led to up-regulation of the type III secretion system and altered expression of three putative glycosyltransferase genes gumD, pgaC and xagB, which are part of operons directing the synthesis of different extracellular polysaccharides. The pgaABCD and xagABCD operons were greatly up-regulated in the Xoc ?rpfG mutant, whereas the expression of the gum genes was unaltered or slightly enhanced. The elevated biofilm formation of the Xoc ?rpfG mutant was dramatically reduced upon deletion of gumD, xagA and xagB, but not when pgaA and pgaC were deleted. Interestingly, only the ?gumD mutant, among these single gene mutants, exhibits multiple phenotype alterations including reduced biofilm and EPS production and attenuated virulence on rice. These data indicate that RpfG is a global regulator that controls biofilm formation, EPS production and bacterial virulence in Xoc and that both gumD- and xagB-dependent EPS contribute to biofilm formation under different conditions.
Rice false smut caused by the fungal pathogen Ustilaginoidea virens is becoming a destructive disease throughout major rice-growing countries. Information about its genetic diversity and population structure is essential for rice breeding and efficient control of the disease. This study compared the genome sequences of two U. virens isolates. Three SNP-rich genomic regions were identified as molecular markers that could be used to analyze the genetic diversity and population structure of U. virens in China. A total of 56 multilocus sequence types (haplotypes) were identified out of 162 representative isolates from 15 provinces covering five major rice-growing areas in China. However, the phylogeny, based on sequences at individual SNP-rich regions, strongly conflicted with each other and there were significant genetic differences between different geographical populations. Gene flow between the different geographical populations and genetic differentiation within each geographical population were also detected. In addition, genetic recombination and genetic isolation resulting from geographic separation was also found.
In many plant-bacterial interactions, loss of the type III secretion system (T3SS) severely reduces bacterial growth, symptom causation and suppression of defences in host plants. In the present study of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), Xcc strain B305 grew better than strain B186 in Arabidopsis thaliana after hydathode inoculation, and B305 strains mutated to the loss of T3SS (?hrcC and/or ?hrpE; also ?hrcC?flgBC) grew similarly to wild-type B305 in Arabidopsis leaves. Unlike Xcc strain B186, wild-type B305 was relatively inefficient in secreting the exogenous T3S effector AvrBsT, but ?hrcC and/or ?hrpE attenuated the disease symptoms caused by Xcc B305, showing that the partially compromised T3SS of this strain still promotes necrotic leaf symptoms. In contrast with the T3SS-dependent defence suppression that has been observed for some other plant pathogenic bacteria, the Xcc B186 and B305 wild-type strains (which are virulent on Arabidopsis) caused greater elicitation of host PR-1 and PR-5 expression and callose deposition in comparison with their respective T3SS mutants. A defence-suppressing/virulence-enhancing activity of the Xcc T3SS effector suite was detectable when co-inoculation with wild-type Xcc B186 increased the growth of ?hrcC Xcc, but this activity did not prevent the above defence elicitation. Experiments using T3SS mutants and Arabidopsis fls2 mutants suggested that FLS2 does not play a prominent role in restriction of the examined Xcc strains. However, ectopic overexpression of the Pseudomonas syringae effector AvrPto promoted in planta growth of wild-type and ?hrcC Xcc. In summary, the T3SS components or effector suite from virulent Xcc strains elicit some host defence responses, but suppress other defences and stimulate more severe disease symptoms, AvrPto-disruptable elements other than FLS2 apparently contribute to the host restriction of Xcc, and in some virulent Xcc strains the T3SS is not absolutely required for wild-type levels of bacterial growth within the plant.
D-cyclins are universally dysregulated in multiple myeloma and frequently overexpressed in leukemia. To better understand the role and impact of dysregulated D-cyclins in hematologic malignancies, we conducted a high-throughput screen for inhibitors of cyclin D2 transactivation and identified 8-ethoxy-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-nitro-2H-chromene (S14161), which inhibited the expression of cyclins D1, D2, and D3 and arrested cells at the G(0)/G(1) phase. After D-cyclin suppression, S14161 induced apoptosis in myeloma and leukemia cell lines and primary patient samples preferentially over normal hematopoietic cells. In mouse models of leukemia, S14161 inhibited tumor growth without evidence of weight loss or gross organ toxicity. Mechanistically, S14161 inhibited the activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in intact cells and the activity of the phosphoinositide 3-kinases ?, ?, ?, and ? in a cell-free enzymatic assay. In contrast, it did not inhibit the enzymatic activities of other related kinases, including the mammalian target of rapamycin, the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit, and phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1. Thus, we identified a novel chemical compound that inhibits D-cyclin transactivation via the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B signaling pathway. Given its potent antileukemia and antimyeloma activity and minimal toxicity, S14161 could be developed as a novel agent for blood cancer therapy.
Ustiloxins are cyclopeptide mycotoxins produced by the pathogenic fungus Villosiclava virens of rice false smut. Ustiloxins A and B as two main mycotoxins were determined conveniently by LC-ESI-MS in the water extract from rice false smut balls which were mostly composed of the chlamydospores and mycelia of the pathogen. Both ustiloxins A and B in the water extract were also quantitatively analyzed by HPLC. This is the first report on the determination and analysis of ustiloxins A and B simultaneously by LC-ESI-MS and HPLC in false smut balls of rice.
Flagellin sensing2 (FLS2) is a transmembrane receptor kinase that activates antimicrobial defense responses upon binding of bacterial flagellin or the flagellin-derived peptide flg22. We find that some Arabidopsis thaliana FLS2 is present in FLS2-FLS2 complexes before and after plant exposure to flg22. flg22 binding capability is not required for FLS2-FLS2 association. Cys pairs flank the extracellular leucine rich repeat (LRR) domain in FLS2 and many other LRR receptors, and we find that the Cys pair N-terminal to the FLS2 LRR is required for normal processing, stability, and function, possibly due to undescribed endoplasmic reticulum quality control mechanisms. By contrast, disruption of the membrane-proximal Cys pair does not block FLS2 function, instead increasing responsiveness to flg22, as indicated by a stronger oxidative burst. There was no evidence for intermolecular FLS2-FLS2 disulfide bridges. Truncated FLS2 containing only the intracellular domain associates with full-length FLS2 and exerts a dominant-negative effect on wild-type FLS2 function that is dependent on expression level but independent of the protein kinase capacity of the truncated protein. FLS2 is insensitive to disruption of multiple N-glycosylation sites, in contrast with the related receptor EF-Tu receptor that can be rendered nonfunctional by disruption of single glycosylation sites. These and additional findings more precisely define the molecular mechanisms of FLS2 receptor function.
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