[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We cloned the rpoN (ntrA, glnF) gene encoding the alternate sigma factor sigma(54) from the opportunistic multihost pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14. A marker exchange protocol was used to construct the PA14 rpoN insertional mutation rpoN::Gen(r). PA14 rpoN::Gen(r) synthesized reduced levels of pyocyanin and displayed a variety of phenotypes typical of rpoN mutants, including a lack of motility and the failure to grow on nitrate, glutamate, or histidine as the sole nitrogen source. Compared to wild-type PA14, rpoN::Gen(r) was ca. 100-fold less virulent in a mouse thermal injury model and was significantly impaired in its ability to kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf infectivity assay, although rpoN::Gen(r) exhibited significantly reduced attachment to trichomes, stomata, and the epidermal cell surface, did not attach perpendicularly to or perforate mesophyll cell walls, and proliferated less rapidly in Arabidopsis leaves, it nevertheless elicited similar disease symptoms to wild-type P. aeruginosa PA14 at later stages of infection. rpoN::Gen(r) was not impaired in virulence in a Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth) pathogenicity model. These data indicate that rpoN does not regulate the expression of any genes that encode virulence factors universally required for P. aeruginosa pathogenicity in diverse hosts.
Journal of Bacteriology 01/2002; 183(24):7126-34. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salicylic acid (SA) mediates plant defences against pathogens, accumulating in both infected and distal leaves in response to pathogen attack. Pathogenesis-related gene expression and the synthesis of defensive compounds associated with both local and systemic acquired resistance (LAR and SAR) in plants require SA. In Arabidopsis, exogenous application of SA suffices to establish SAR, resulting in enhanced resistance to a variety of pathogens. However, despite its importance in plant defence against pathogens, SA biosynthesis is not well defined. Previous work has suggested that plants synthesize SA from phenylalanine; however, SA could still be produced when this pathway was inhibited, and the specific activity of radiolabelled SA in feeding experiments was often lower than expected. Some bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa synthesize SA using isochorismate synthase (ICS) and pyruvate lyase. Here we show, by cloning and characterizing an Arabidopsis defence-related gene (SID2) defined by mutation, that SA is synthesized from chorismate by means of ICS, and that SA made by this pathway is required for LAR and SAR responses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrate the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a facile and inexpensive model host for several Gram-positive human bacterial pathogens. Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus, but not Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, or Streptococcus pyogenes, kill adult C. elegans. Focusing our studies on the enterococcal species, we found that both E. faecalis and E. faecium kill C. elegans eggs and hatchlings, although only E. faecalis kills the adults. In the case of adults, a low inoculum of E. faecalis grows to a high titer in the C. elegans intestine, resulting in a persistent infection that cannot be eradicated by prolonged feeding on E. faecium. Interestingly, a high titer of E. faecium also accumulates in the nematode gut, but does not affect the longevity of the worms. Two E. faecalis virulence-related factors that play an important role in mammalian models of infection, fsr, a putative quorum-sensing system, and cytolysin, are also important for nematode killing. We exploit the apparent parallels between Gram-positive infection in simple and more complex organisms by using the nematode to identify an E. faecalis virulence factor, ScrB, which is relevant to mammalian pathogenesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2001; 98(19):10892-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We are exploiting the broad host range of the human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 to elucidate the molecular basis of bacterial virulence in plants, nematodes, insects and mice. In this report, we characterize the role that two PA14 gene products, MucD and AlgD, play in virulence. MucD is orthologous to the Escherichia coli periplasmic protease and chaperone DegP. DegP homologues are known virulence factors that play a protective role in stress responses in various species. AlgD is an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of the exopolysaccharide alginate, which is hyperinduced in mucD mutants. A PA14 mucD mutant was significantly impaired in its ability to cause disease in Arabidopsis thaliana and mice and to kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Moreover, MucD was found to be required for the production of an extracellular toxin involved in C. elegans killing. In contrast, a PA14 algD mutant was not impaired in virulence in plants, nematodes or mice. A mucDalgD double mutant had the same phenotype as the mucD single mutant in the plant and nematode pathogenesis models. However, the mucDalgD double mutant was synergistically reduced in virulence in mice, suggesting that alginate can partially compensate for the loss of MucD function in mouse pathogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The generalist insect herbivore Trichoplusia ni (cabbage looper) readily consumes Arabidopsis and can complete its entire life cycle on this plant. Natural isolates (ecotypes) of Arabidopsis are not equally susceptible to T. ni feeding. While some are hardly touched by T. ni, others are eaten completely to the ground. Comparison of two commonly studied Arabidopsis ecotypes in choice experiments showed that Columbia is considerably more resistant than Landsberg erecta. In no-choice experiments, where larvae were confined on one or the other ecotype, weight gain was more rapid on Landsberg erecta than on Columbia. Genetic mapping of this difference in insect susceptibility using recombinant inbred lines resulted in the discovery of the TASTY locus near 85 cM on chromosome 1 of Arabidopsis. The resistant allele of this locus is in the Columbia ecotype, and an F(1) hybrid has a sensitive phenotype that is similar to that of Landsberg erecta. The TASTY locus is distinct from known genetic differences between Columbia and Landsberg erecta that affect glucosinolate content, trichome density, disease resistance, and flowering time.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Programmed cell death (PCD) in mammals has been implicated in several disease states including cancer, autoimmune disease, and neurodegenerative disease. In Caenorhabditis elegans, PCD is a normal component of development. We find that Salmonella typhimurium colonization of the C. elegans intestine leads to an increased level of cell death in the worm gonad. S. typhimurium-mediated germ-line cell death is not observed in C. elegans ced-3 and ced-4 mutants in which developmentally regulated cell death is blocked, and ced-3 and ced-4 mutants are hypersensitive to S. typhimurium-mediated killing. These results suggest that PCD may be involved in the C. elegans defense response to pathogen attack.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2001; 98(5):2735-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease resistance proteins containing a nucleotide binding site (NBS) and a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) region compose the largest class of disease resistance proteins. These so-called NBS-LRR proteins confer resistance against a wide variety of phytopathogens. To help elucidate the mechanism by which NBS-LRR proteins recognize and transmit pathogen-derived signals, we analyzed mutant versions of the Arabidopsis NBS-LRR protein RPS2. The RPS2 gene confers resistance against Pseudomonas syringae strains carrying the avirulence gene avrRpt2. The activity of RPS2 derivatives in response to AvrRpt2 was measured by using a functional transient expression assay or by expressing the mutant proteins in transgenic plants. Directed mutagenesis revealed that the NBS and an N-terminal leucine zipper (LZ) motif were critical for RPS2 function. Mutations near the N terminus, including an LZ mutation, resulted in proteins that exhibited a dominant negative effect on wild-type RPS2. Scanning the RPS2 molecule with a small in-frame internal deletion demonstrated that RPS2 does not have a large dispensable region. Overexpression of RPS2 in the transient assay in the absence of avrRpt2 also led to an apparent resistant response, presumably a consequence of a low basal activity of RPS2. The NBS and LZ were essential for this overdose effect, whereas the entire LRR was dispensable. RPS2 interaction with a 75-kD protein (p75) required an N-terminal portion of RPS2 that is smaller than the region required for the overdose effect. These findings illuminate the pathogen recognition mechanisms common among NBS-LRR proteins.
The Plant Cell 01/2001; 12(12):2541-2554. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a modified allele-specific PCR procedure for assaying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and used the procedure (called SNAP for single-nucleotide amplified polymorphisms) to generate 62 Arabidopsis mapping markers. SNAP primers contain a single base pair mismatch within three nucleotides from the 3' end of one allele (the specific allele) and in addition have a 3' mismatch with the nonspecific allele. A computer program called SNAPER was used to facilitate the design of primers that generate at least a 1,000-fold difference in the quantity of the amplification products from the specific and nonspecific SNP alleles. Because SNAP markers can be readily assayed by electrophoresis on standard agarose gels and because a public database of over 25,000 SNPs is available between the Arabidopsis Columbia and Landsberg erecta ecotypes, the SNAP method greatly facilitates the map-based cloning of Arabidopsis genes defined by a mutant phenotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is a multihost pathogen that can infect Arabidopsis. We found that PA14 pathogenesis in Arabidopsis involves the following steps: attachment to the leaf surface, congregation of bacteria at and invasion through stomata or wounds, colonization of intercellular spaces, and concomitant disruption of plant cell wall and membrane structures, basipetal movement along the vascular parenchyma, and maceration and rotting of the petiole and central bud. Distinctive features of P. aeruginosa pathogenesis are that the surface of mesophyll cell walls adopt an unusual convoluted or undulated appearance, that PA14 cells orient themselves perpendicularly to the outer surface of mesophyll cell walls, and that PA14 cells make circular perforations, approximately equal to the diameter of P. aeruginosa, in mesophyll cell walls. Taken together, our data show that P. aeruginosa strain PA14 is a facultative pathogen of Arabidopsis that is capable of causing local and systemic infection, which can result in the death of the infected plant.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic analysis of host-pathogen interactions has been hampered by the lack of genetically tractable models of such interactions. We showed previously that the human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa kills Caenorhabditis elegans, that P. aeruginosa and C. elegans genes can be identified that affect this killing, and that most of these P. aeruginosa genes are also important for mammalian pathogenesis. Here, we show that Salmonella typhimurium as well as other Salmonella enterica serovars including S. enteritidis and S. dublin can also kill C. elegans. When C. elegans is placed on a lawn of S. typhimurium, the bacteria accumulate in the lumen of the worm intestine and the nematodes die over the course of several days. This killing requires contact with live bacterial cells. The worms die with similar kinetics when placed on a lawn of S. typhimurium for a relatively short time (3-5 hours) before transfer to a lawn of E. coli. After the transfer to E. coli, a high titer of S. typhimurium persists in the C. elegans intestinal lumen for the rest of the worms' life. Furthermore, feeding for 5 hours on a 1:1000 mixture of S. typhimurium and E. coli followed by transfer to 100% E. coli, also led to death after several days. This killing correlated with an increase in the titer of S. typhimurium in the C. elegans lumen, which reached 10,000 bacteria per worm. These data indicate that, in contrast to P. aeruginosa, a small inoculum of S. typhimurium can proliferate in the C. elegans intestine and establish a persistent infection. S. typhimurium mutated in the PhoP/PhoQ signal transduction system caused significantly less killing of C. elegans.
Current Biology 12/2000; 10(23):1539-42. · 9.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease resistance in Arabidopsis is regulated by multiple signal transduction pathways in which salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) function as key signaling molecules. Epistasis analyses were performed between mutants that disrupt these pathways (npr1, eds5, ein2, and jar1) and mutants that constitutively activate these pathways (cpr1, cpr5, and cpr6), allowing exploration of the relationship between the SA- and JA/ET-mediated resistance responses. Two important findings were made. First, the constitutive disease resistance exhibited by cpr1, cpr5, and cpr6 is completely suppressed by the SA-deficient eds5 mutant but is only partially affected by the SA-insensitive npr1 mutant. Moreover, eds5 suppresses the SA-accumulating phenotype of the cpr mutants, whereas npr1 enhances it. These data indicate the existence of an SA-mediated, NPR1-independent resistance response. Second, the ET-insensitive mutation ein2 and the JA-insensitive mutation jar1 suppress the NPR1-independent resistance response exhibited by cpr5 and cpr6. Furthermore, ein2 potentiates SA accumulation in cpr5 and cpr5 npr1 while dampening SA accumulation in cpr6 and cpr6 npr1. These latter results indicate that cpr5 and cpr6 regulate resistance through distinct pathways and that SA-mediated, NPR1-independent resistance works in combination with components of the JA/ET-mediated response pathways.
The Plant Cell 12/2000; 12(11):2175-90. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fumonisin B1 (FB1), a programmed cell death-eliciting toxin produced by the necrotrophic fungal plant pathogen Fusarium moniliforme, was used to simulate pathogen infection in Arabidopsis. Plants infiltrated with 10 microM FB1 and seedlings transferred to agar media containing 1 microM FB1 develop lesions reminiscent of the hypersensitive response, including generation of reactive oxygen intermediates, deposition of phenolic compounds and callose, accumulation of phytoalexin, and expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. Arabidopsis FB1-resistant (fbr) mutants were selected directly by sowing seeds on agar containing 1 microM FB1, on which wild-type seedlings fail to develop. Two mutants chosen for further analyses, fbr1 and fbr2, had altered PR gene expression in response to FB1. fbr1 and fbr2 do not exhibit differential resistance to the avirulent bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv maculicola (ES4326) expressing the avirulence gene avrRpt2 but do display enhanced resistance to a virulent isogenic strain that lacks the avirulence gene. Our results demonstrate the utility of FB1 for high-throughput isolation of Arabidopsis defense-related mutants and suggest that pathogen-elicited programmed cell death of host cells may be an important feature of compatible plant-pathogen interactions.
The Plant Cell 11/2000; 12(10):1811-22. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have established an Arabidopsis protoplast model system to study plant cell death signaling. The fungal toxin fumonisin B1 (FB1) induces apoptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) in wild-type protoplasts. FB1, however, only marginally affects the viability of protoplasts isolated from transgenic NahG plants, in which salicylic acid (SA) is metabolically degraded; from pad4-1 mutant plants, in which an SA amplification mechanism is thought to be impaired; or from jar1-1 or etr1-1 mutant plants, which are insensitive to jasmonate (JA) or ethylene (ET), respectively. FB1 susceptibility of wild-type protoplasts decreases in the dark, as does the cellular content of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, a light-inducible enzyme involved in SA biosynthesis. Interestingly, however, FB1-induced PCD does not require the SA signal transmitter NPR1, given that npr1-1 protoplasts display wild-type FB1 susceptibility. Arabidopsis cpr1-1, cpr6-1, and acd2-2 protoplasts, in which the SA signaling pathway is constitutively activated, exhibit increased susceptibility to FB1. The cpr6-1 and acd2-2 mutants also constitutively express the JA and ET signaling pathways, but only the acd2-2 protoplasts undergo PCD in the absence of FB1. These results demonstrate that FB1 killing of Arabidopsis is light dependent and requires SA-, JA-, and ET-mediated signaling pathways as well as one or more unidentified factors activated by FB1 and the acd2-2 mutation.
The Plant Cell 11/2000; 12(10):1823-36. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We initiated a search for disease resistance (R) gene homologues in rice cultivar IR64, one of the most agronomically important rice varieties in the world, with the assumption that some of these homologues would correspond to previously identified disease resistance loci. A family of rice R gene homologues was identified using the Arabidopsis NBS-LRR disease resistance gene RPS2 as a hybridization probe. Because member genes of this rice R gene family exhibit features characteristic of the NBS-LRR class of resistance genes, the family was given the name NRH (for NBS-LRR resistance gene homologues). Three members of the NRH family, NRH1, NRH2, and NRH3, were cloned and studied in detail. In IR64, NRH1 and NRH2 appear to encode full-length polypeptides, whereas NRH3 is prematurely truncated with a stop codon generated by a frameshift. NRH1 maps on chromosome 5, and NRH2 and NRH3 are less than 48kb apart on chromosome 11. Although NRH1, NRH2, and NRH3 map to regions of the rice genome where disease resistance loci to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) have been identified, susceptible rice varieties transformed with either NRH1 or NRH2 failed to exhibit increased resistance to a set of well-characterized Xoo strains.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strain PA14, a human clinical isolate of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is pathogenic in mice and insects (Galleria mellonella). Analysis of 32 different PA14 mutants in these two hosts showed a novel positive correlation in the virulence patterns. Thus, G. mellonella is a good model system for identifying mammalian virulence factors of P. aeruginosa.
Journal of Bacteriology 08/2000; 182(13):3843-5. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: beta-Glucuronidase (uidA) reporter gene fusions were constructed for the hrpZ, hrpL, and hrpS genes from the phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola strain ES4326. These reporters, as well as an avrRpt2-uidA fusion, were used to measure transcriptional activity in ES4326 and a ES4326 rpoN mutant. rpoN was required for the expression of avrRpt2, hrpZ, and hrpL in vitro in minimal media and in vivo when infiltrated into Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. In contrast, the expression of hrpS was essentially the same in wild-type and rpoN mutant strains. Constitutive expression of hrpL in an rpoN mutant restored hrpZ transcription to wild-type levels, restored the hypersensitive response when infiltrated into tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum), and partially restored the elicitation of virulence-related symptoms but not growth when infiltrated into Arabidopsis leaves. These data indicate that rpoN-mediated control of hrp gene expression acts at the level of hrpL and that in planta growth of P. syringae is not required for the elicitation of disease symptoms.
Journal of Bacteriology 07/2000; 182(12):3508-16. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We cloned the rpoN (ntrA and glnF) gene encoding sigma(54) from the phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola strain ES4326. The P. syringae ES4326 rpoN gene complemented Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella aerogenes rpoN mutants for a variety of rpoN mutant phenotypes, including the inability to utilize nitrate as sole nitrogen source. DNA sequence analysis of the P. syringae ES4326 rpoN gene revealed that the deduced amino acid sequence was most similar (86% identity; 95% similarity) to the sigma(54) protein encoded by the Pseudomonas putida rpoN gene. A marker exchange protocol was used to construct an ES4326 rpoN insertional mutation, rpoN::Km(r). In contrast to wild-type ES4326, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) was nonmotile and could not utilize nitrate, urea, C(4)-dicarboxylic acids, several amino acids, or concentrations of ammonia below 2 mM as nitrogen sources. rpoN was essential for production of the phytotoxin coronatine and for expression of the structural genes encoding coronamic acid. In addition, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) did not multiply or elicit disease symptoms when infiltrated into Arabidopsis thaliana leaves, did not elicit the accumulation of several Arabidopsis defense-related mRNAs, and did not elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) when infiltrated into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves. Furthermore, whereas P. syringae ES4326 carrying the avirulence gene avrRpt2 elicited an HR when infiltrated into Arabidopsis ecotype Columbia leaves, ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) carrying avrRpt2 elicited no response. Constitutive expression of ES4326 hrpL in ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) partially restored defense-related mRNA accumulation, showing a direct role for the hrp cluster in host defense gene induction in a compatible host-pathogen interaction. However, constitutive expression of hrpL in ES4326 rpoN::Km(r) did not restore coronatine production, showing that coronatine biosynthesis requires factors other than hrpL.
Journal of Bacteriology 07/2000; 182(12):3498-507. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past year, a Caenorhabditis elegans-Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis model has been developed to facilitate the systematic dissection of both host and pathogen genes involved in pathogenic interactions. Analysis of the P. aeruginosa-C. elegans interaction should shed light on the larger question of how organisms interact at the molecular level in antagonistic relationships.
Current Opinion in Microbiology 03/2000; 3(1):29-34. · 8.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis PAD4 gene previously was found to be required for expression of multiple defense responses including camalexin synthesis and PR-1 gene expression in response to infection by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola. This report describes the isolation of PAD4. The predicted PAD4 protein sequence displays similarity to triacyl glycerol lipases and other esterases. The PAD4 transcript was found to accumulate after P. syringae infection or treatment with salicylic acid (SA). PAD4 transcript levels were very low in infected pad4 mutants. Treatment with SA induced expression of PAD4 mRNA in pad4-1, pad4-3, and pad4-4 plants but not in pad4-2 plants. Induction of PAD4 expression by P. syringae was independent of the regulatory factor NPR1 but induction by SA was NPR1-dependent. Taken together with the previous observation that pad4 mutants have a defect in accumulation of SA upon pathogen infection, these results suggest that PAD4 participates in a positive regulatory loop that increases SA levels, thereby activating SA-dependent defense responses.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1999; 96(23):13583-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor