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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377887

Research Project: Characterization of Molecular Networks in Diseases Caused by Emerging and Persistent Bacterial Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Are small non-coding RNAs of Dickeya dadantii involved in detection and response to plant hosts?

item GONZALEZ-TOBON, JULIANA - Cornell University
item LIU, YINGYU - Cornell University
item Filiatrault, Melanie

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2020
Publication Date: 8/8/2020
Citation: Gonzalez-Tobon, J., Liu, Y., Filiatrault, M.J. 2020. Are small non-coding RNAs of Dickeya dadantii involved in detection and response to plant hosts?. American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dickeya sp. causes potato “blackleg”, an economically important disease with billions of dollars lost per year. Similar to other plant pathogenic bacteria, it uses methyl-accepting chemoreceptors (MCPs) to find an opening, enter the plant and sense plant-defense compounds, using chemotaxis. Interestingly, Dickeya possesses an unusually higher number of MCPs (47) compared to other Enterobacterales (29), which appear to be crucial for virulence. Long untranslated regions exist in the 5’ extreme of most MCPs in Dickeya. RNASeq data from our lab shows most of these regions are transcriptionally active in planta. We hypothesize that 5’UTRs encode for regulatory sequences such as small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that control expression of downstream genes. The objective of this study was to identify if ncRNAs or other regulatory elements reside in 5’UTRs of Dickeya dadantii’s MCPs. Bioinformatic analyses were used to identify 5’UTRs, scan for known regulatory sequences and predict secondary structures. Based on our previous in planta RNASeq data, 16 of these 5’UTRs were notoriously expressed. None contain known sRNAs, but all have the potential to fold into secondary structures. These expression levels were also tested experimentally, in vitro and in planta (in susceptible and tolerant potato lines). Future experiments will further investigate if Dickeya’s ncRNAs are involved in its chemotaxis during infection. This provides important insights into regulatory mechanisms which could potentially be used to control how, or even if, Dickeya enters the plant.