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Ralstonia solanacearum requires PopS, an ancient AvrE-Family effector, for virulence and To overcome salicylic Acid-Mediated defenses during tomato pathogenesis

Jacobs J.M., Milling A., Mitra R.M., Hogan C.S., Ailloud F., Prior P., Allen C.. 2013. Mbio, 4 (6) : 13 p..

During bacterial wilt of tomato, the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum upregulates expression of popS, which encodes a type III-secreted effector in the AvrE family. PopS is a core effector present in all sequenced strains in the R. solanacearum species complex. The phylogeny of popS mirrors that of the species complex as a whole, suggesting that this is an ancient, vertically inherited effector needed for association with plants. A popS mutant of R. solanacearum UW551 had reduced virulence on agriculturally important Solanum spp., including potato and tomato plants. However, the popS mutant had wild-type virulence on a weed host, Solanum dulcamara, suggesting that some species can avoid the effects of PopS. The popS mutant was also significantly delayed in colonization of tomato stems compared to the wild type. Some AvrE-type effectors from gammaproteobacteria suppress salicylic acid (SA)-mediated plant defenses, suggesting that PopS, a betaproteobacterial ortholog, has a similar function. Indeed, the popS mutant induced significantly higher expression of tomato SA-triggered pathogenesis-related (PR) genes than the wild type. Further, pretreatment of roots with SA exacerbated the popS mutant virulence defect. Finally, the popS mutant had no colonization defect on SA-deficient NahG transgenic tomato plants. Together, these results indicate that this conserved effector suppresses SA-mediated defenses in tomato roots and stems, which are R. solanacearum's natural infection sites. Interestingly, PopS did not trigger necrosis when heterologously expressed in Nicotiana leaf tissue, unlike the AvrE homolog DspEPcc from the necrotroph Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum. This is consistent with the differing pathogenesis modes of necrosis-causing gammaproteobacteria and biotrophic R. solanacearum.

Thématique : Maladies des plantes

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