Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens ResearchTitle: Unraveling the molecular interactions between Dickeya sp. and potato during blackleg infection
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2021
Publication Date: 8/2/2021
Citation: Tobon-Gonzalez, J., Helmann, T.C., Stodghill, P., Filiatrault, M.J. 2021. Unraveling the molecular interactions between Dickeya sp. and potato during blackleg infection. 2021 International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Congress, eSymposium Series, December 1-2, 2020, Plant-Microbe Interactions in the Environment. Virtual meeting.
Technical Abstract: Bacteria belonging to the Dickeya genus are necrotrophic plant pathogens that cause blackleg and soft rot symptoms on many plant hosts, including potato. As other bacterial plant pathogens, they sense their environment for plant signals in order to identify potential entries and move throughout the plant using a process known as chemotaxis. Among the different molecules mediating this process, the methyl-accepting chemoreceptors (MCPs) are unusually abundant in this bacterial genus. However, their precise role in the disease process is not fully understood. Adding to the complexity, long and transcriptionally active untranslated regions exist in the 5’ extreme of most of many of the MCP genes in Dickeya. We hypothesized these regions harbor small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). We characterized the upstream regions and identified putative small RNAs in the genomes of Dickeya sp. using several bioinformatic approaches. Additionally, we evaluated expression in vitro and in planta. To investigate the role of MCPs and the putative ncRNAs in fitness and ability to cause disease, we inoculated bar-coded transposon mutant libraries of Dickeya dianthicola and Dickeya dadantii into potato stems. To characterize the biological function of the MCPs and putative ncRNAs, mutants and reporter fusions are being generated. These data provide important insights into regulatory mechanisms used by Dickeya when interacting with plants and thus might provide targets for control of these pathogens.