July 19, 2019  |  

TAL effectors and activation of predicted host targets distinguish Asian from African strains of the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola while strict conservation suggests universal importance of five TAL effectors.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) causes the increasingly important disease bacterial leaf streak of rice (BLS) in part by type III delivery of repeat-rich transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors to upregulate host susceptibility genes. By pathogen whole genome, single molecule, real-time sequencing and host RNA sequencing, we compared TAL effector content and rice transcriptional responses across 10 geographically diverse Xoc strains. TAL effector content is surprisingly conserved overall, yet distinguishes Asian from African isolates. Five TAL effectors are conserved across all strains. In a prior laboratory assay in rice cv. Nipponbare, only two contributed to virulence in strain BLS256 but the strict conservation indicates all five may be important, in different rice genotypes or in the field. Concatenated and aligned, TAL effector content across strains largely reflects relationships based on housekeeping genes, suggesting predominantly vertical transmission. Rice transcriptional responses did not reflect these relationships, and on average, only 28% of genes upregulated and 22% of genes downregulated by a strain are up- and down- regulated (respectively) by all strains. However, when only known TAL effector targets were considered, the relationships resembled those of the TAL effectors. Toward identifying new targets, we used the TAL effector-DNA recognition code to predict effector binding elements in promoters of genes upregulated by each strain, but found that for every strain, all upregulated genes had at least one. Filtering with a classifier we developed previously decreases the number of predicted binding elements across the genome, suggesting that it may reduce false positives among upregulated genes. Applying this filter and eliminating genes for which upregulation did not strictly correlate with presence of the corresponding TAL effector, we generated testable numbers of candidate targets for four of the five strictly conserved TAL effectors.


July 19, 2019  |  

Accelerated cloning of a potato late blight-resistance gene using RenSeq and SMRT sequencing.

Global yields of potato and tomato crops have fallen owing to potato late blight disease, which is caused by Phytophthora infestans. Although most commercial potato varieties are susceptible to blight, many wild potato relatives show variation for resistance and are therefore a potential source of Resistance to P. infestans (Rpi) genes. Resistance breeding has exploited Rpi genes from closely related tuber-bearing potato relatives, but is laborious and slow. Here we report that the wild, diploid non-tuber-bearing Solanum americanum harbors multiple Rpi genes. We combine resistance (R) gene sequence capture (RenSeq) with single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing (SMRT RenSeq) to clone Rpi-amr3i. This technology should enable de novo assembly of complete nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat receptor (NLR) genes, their regulatory elements and complex multi-NLR loci from uncharacterized germplasm. SMRT RenSeq can be applied to rapidly clone multiple R genes for engineering pathogen-resistant crops.


July 19, 2019  |  

TAL effector driven induction of a SWEET gene confers susceptibility to bacterial blight of cotton.

Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors from Xanthomonas citri subsp. malvacearum (Xcm) are essential for bacterial blight of cotton (BBC). Here, by combining transcriptome profiling with TAL effector-binding element (EBE) prediction, we show that GhSWEET10, encoding a functional sucrose transporter, is induced by Avrb6, a TAL effector determining Xcm pathogenicity. Activation of GhSWEET10 by designer TAL effectors (dTALEs) restores virulence of Xcm avrb6 deletion strains, whereas silencing of GhSWEET10 compromises cotton susceptibility to infections. A BBC-resistant line carrying an unknown recessive b6 gene bears the same EBE as the susceptible line, but Avrb6-mediated induction of GhSWEET10 is reduced, suggesting a unique mechanism underlying b6-mediated resistance. We show via an extensive survey of GhSWEET transcriptional responsiveness to different Xcm field isolates that additional GhSWEETs may also be involved in BBC. These findings advance our understanding of the disease and resistance in cotton and may facilitate the development cotton with improved resistance to BBC.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomics-enabled analysis of the emergent disease cotton bacterial blight.

Cotton bacterial blight (CBB), an important disease of (Gossypium hirsutum) in the early 20th century, had been controlled by resistant germplasm for over half a century. Recently, CBB re-emerged as an agronomic problem in the United States. Here, we report analysis of cotton variety planting statistics that indicate a steady increase in the percentage of susceptible cotton varieties grown each year since 2009. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that strains from the current outbreak cluster with race 18 Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum (Xcm) strains. Illumina based draft genomes were generated for thirteen Xcm isolates and analyzed along with 4 previously published Xcm genomes. These genomes encode 24 conserved and nine variable type three effectors. Strains in the race 18 clade contain 3 to 5 more effectors than other Xcm strains. SMRT sequencing of two geographically and temporally diverse strains of Xcm yielded circular chromosomes and accompanying plasmids. These genomes encode eight and thirteen distinct transcription activator-like effector genes. RNA-sequencing revealed 52 genes induced within two cotton cultivars by both tested Xcm strains. This gene list includes a homeologous pair of genes, with homology to the known susceptibility gene, MLO. In contrast, the two strains of Xcm induce different clade III SWEET sugar transporters. Subsequent genome wide analysis revealed patterns in the overall expression of homeologous gene pairs in cotton after inoculation by Xcm. These data reveal important insights into the Xcm-G. hirsutum disease complex and strategies for future development of resistant cultivars.


July 7, 2019  |  

The genome of the cotton bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum strain MSCT1.

Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum is a major pathogen of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.. In this study we report the complete genome of the X. citri pv. malvacearum strain MSCT1 assembled from long read DNA sequencing technology. The MSCT1 genome is the first X. citri pv. malvacearum genome with complete coding regions for X. citri pv. malvacearum transcriptional activator-like effectors. In addition functional and structural annotations are presented in this study that will provide a foundation for future pathogenesis studies with MSCT1.


July 7, 2019  |  

Xanthomonas adaptation to common bean is associated with horizontal transfers of genes encoding TAL effectors.

Common bacterial blight is a devastating bacterial disease of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. fuscans and Xanthomonas phaseoli pv. phaseoli. These phylogenetically distant strains are able to cause similar symptoms on common bean, suggesting that they have acquired common genetic determinants of adaptation to common bean. Transcription Activator-Like (TAL) effectors are bacterial type III effectors that are able to induce the expression of host genes to promote infection or resistance. Their capacity to bind to a specific host DNA sequence suggests that they are potential candidates for host adaption.To study the diversity of tal genes from Xanthomonas strains responsible for common bacterial blight of bean, whole genome sequences of 17 strains representing the diversity of X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli were obtained by single molecule real time sequencing. Analysis of these genomes revealed the existence of four tal genes named tal23A, tal20F, tal18G and tal18H, respectively. While tal20F and tal18G were chromosomic, tal23A and tal18H were carried on plasmids and shared between phylogenetically distant strains, therefore suggesting recent horizontal transfers of these genes between X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli strains. Strikingly, tal23A was present in all strains studied, suggesting that it played an important role in adaptation to common bean. In silico predictions of TAL effectors targets in the common bean genome suggested that TAL effectors shared by X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli strains target the promoters of genes of similar functions. This could be a trace of convergent evolution among TAL effectors from different phylogenetic groups, and comforts the hypothesis that TAL effectors have been implied in the adaptation to common bean.Altogether, our results favour a model where plasmidic TAL effectors are able to contribute to host adaptation by being horizontally transferred between distant lineages.


July 7, 2019  |  

First complete genome sequences of Xanthomonas citri pv. vignicola strains CFBP7111, CFBP7112, and CFBP7113 obtained using long-read technology

Xanthomonas citri pv. vignicola strains cause bacterial blight of the legume crop cowpea. We report whole-genome sequences of three X. citri pv. vignicola strains obtained using PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing. Such genomic data provide new information on pathogenicity factors, such as transcription activator-like effectors. Copyright © 2017 Ruh et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the African strain AXO1947 of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is the etiological agent of bacterial rice blight. Three distinct clades of X. oryzae pv. oryzae are known. We present the complete annotated genome of the African clade strain AXO194 using long-read single-molecule PacBio sequencing technology. The genome comprises a single chromosome of 4,674,975 bp and encodes for nine transcriptional activator-like (TAL) effectors. The approach and data presented in this announcement provide information for complex bacterial genome organization and the discovery of new virulence effectors, and they facilitate target characterization of TAL effectors. Copyright © 2016 Huguet-Tapia et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Pseudomonas fluorescens LBUM636, a strain with biocontrol capabilities against late blight of potato.

Herein provided is the full-genome sequence of Pseudomonas fluorescens LBUM636. This strain is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) which produces phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, an antibiotic involved in the biocontrol of numerous plant pathogens, including late blight of potato caused by the plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Copyright © 2016 Morrison et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Resistance from relatives.

Crops are made resistant to pathogens such as wheat stem rust, Asian soybean rust and potato late blight by methods to access the pool of resistance genes present in related plants.


July 7, 2019  |  

Suppressed recombination and unique candidate genes in the divergent haplotype encoding Fhb1, a major Fusarium head blight resistance locus in wheat.

Fine mapping and sequencing revealed 28 genes in the non-recombining haplotype containing Fhb1 . Of these, only a GDSL lipase gene shows a pathogen-dependent expression pattern. Fhb1 is a prominent Fusarium head blight resistance locus of wheat, which has been successfully introgressed in adapted breeding material, where it confers a significant increase in overall resistance to the causal pathogen Fusarium graminearum and the fungal virulence factor and mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. The Fhb1 region has been resolved for the susceptible wheat reference genotype Chinese Spring, yet the causal gene itself has not been identified in resistant cultivars. Here, we report the establishment of a 1 Mb contig embracing Fhb1 in the donor line CM-82036. Sequencing revealed that the region of Fhb1 deviates from the Chinese Spring reference in DNA size and gene content, which explains the repressed recombination at the locus in the performed fine mapping. Differences in genes expression between near-isogenic lines segregating for Fhb1 challenged with F. graminearum or treated with mock were investigated in a time-course experiment by RNA sequencing. Several candidate genes were identified, including a pathogen-responsive GDSL lipase absent in susceptible lines. The sequence of the Fhb1 region, the resulting list of candidate genes, and near-diagnostic KASP markers for Fhb1 constitute a valuable resource for breeding and further studies aiming to identify the gene(s) responsible for F. graminearum and deoxynivalenol resistance.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Solanum demissum R8 late blight resistance gene is an Sw-5 homologue that has been deployed worldwide in late blight resistant varieties.

The potato late blight resistance gene R8 has been cloned. R8 is found in five late blight resistant varieties deployed in three different continents. R8 recognises Avr8 and is homologous to the NB-LRR protein Sw-5 from tomato. The broad spectrum late blight resistance gene R8 from Solanum demissum was cloned based on a previously published coarse map position on the lower arm of chromosome IX. Fine mapping in a recombinant population and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library screening resulted in a BAC contig spanning 170 kb of the R8 haplotype. Sequencing revealed a cluster of at least ten R gene analogues (RGAs). The seven RGAs in the genetic window were subcloned for complementation analysis. Only one RGA provided late blight resistance and caused recognition of Avr8. From these results, it was concluded that the newly cloned resistance gene was indeed R8. R8 encodes a typical intracellular immune receptor with an N-terminal coiled coil, a central nucleotide binding site and 13 C-terminal leucine rich repeats. Phylogenetic analysis of a set of representative Solanaceae R proteins shows that R8 resides in a clearly distinct clade together with the Sw-5 tospovirus R protein from tomato. It was found that the R8 gene is present in late blight resistant potato varieties from Europe (Sarpo Mira), USA (Jacqueline Lee, Missaukee) and China (PB-06, S-60). Indeed, when tested under field conditions, R8 transgenic potato plants showed broad spectrum resistance to the current late blight population in the Netherlands, similar to Sarpo Mira.


July 7, 2019  |  

Effector diversification contributes to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae phenotypic adaptation in a semi-isolated environment.

Understanding the processes that shaped contemporary pathogen populations in agricultural landscapes is quite important to define appropriate management strategies and to support crop improvement efforts. Here, we took advantage of an historical record to examine the adaptation pathway of the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) in a semi-isolated environment represented in the Philippine archipelago. By comparing genomes of key Xoo groups we showed that modern populations derived from three Asian lineages. We also showed that diversification of virulence factors occurred within each lineage, most likely driven by host adaptation, and it was essential to shape contemporary pathogen races. This finding is particularly important because it expands our understanding of pathogen adaptation to modern agriculture.


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