Location: Cereal Crops Research
Project Number: 3060-22000-051-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Jul 31, 2026
1) Characterize differences in virulence trait expression between the Xanthomonas translucens pathovars translucens and undulosa. 2) Characterize differences in carbohydrate preferences between the X. translucens pathovars translucens and undulosa. 3) Identify host protein interactors with the X. translucens type III secretion effector protein XopM.
Xanthomonas translucens comprises a group of bacteria pathogenic to small grains and grasses, separated into pathovars with differing host specificity. The two X. translucens pathovars with greatest economic impact are undulosa and translucens. Specific biochemical differences between these pathovars are known, but the underlying causes limiting host range remain unknown. We have additionally identified ways in which these pathovars differ in metabolism of specific carbohydrate energy sources. Furthermore, there are differences in the repertoires of virulence proteins, including type III secretion effectors. One type III secretion effector that differs is XopM, which is present in X. translucens pv. translucens but absent in X. translucens pv. undulosa and thus may play a role in host-specificity. The graduate student working on this project will characterize panels of bacteria representing both of these pathovars for expression of virulence traits using established methods to include assessment of secretion, biofilm formation, motility, and exopolysaccharide production. Furthermore, the student will characterize differences in carbohydrate preference and utilization. Additionally, the student will clone and express the XopM effector for functional studies to identify host targets via in vitro pull-downs and in vivo proximity labelling.