3 years ago

Interplay of classic Exp and specific Vfm quorum sensing systems on the phenotypic features of Dickeya solani strains exhibiting different virulence levels

Nicole Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat, Ewa Lojkowska, Marta Potrykus
Bacteria from the genus Dickeya cause severe symptoms on numerous economically important plants. D. solani is the Dickeya species most frequently found on infected potato plants in Europe. D. solani strains from different countries show high genetic homogeneity but significant differences in their virulence level. Dickeya species possess two quorum sensing (QS) mechanisms: the Exp system based on classic N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signals and a specific system depending on the production and perception of a molecule of unknown structure, Virulence Factor Modulating (VFM). To study the interplay between these two QS, five D. solani strains, exhibiting different virulence levels, were selected. Mutants were constructed by inactivating genes coding for each QS. Double mutants were obtained by simultaneous inactivation of genes coding for both QS. Most of the D. solani mutants showed an attenuation of chicory maceration and a decreased production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDE) and motility, but to different degrees depending on the strain. The VFM-QS seems to regulate virulence in both D. solani and D. dadantii but the AHL-QS has greater effects in D. solani than in D. dadantii. The inactivation of both QS in D. solani did not reveal any additive effect on the tested features. The inactivation of vfm genes has generally preponderant effect on that of the exp genes. Thus, VFM- and AHL-QS do not work in synergy to modulate the production of diverse virulence factors and the ability to macerate plant tissue. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12614

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