N-Acyl Homoserine Lactones and Lux Solos Regulate Social Behaviour and Virulence of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae.


Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna, Viale Fanin 44, 40127, Bologna, Italy. [Email]


The phyllosphere is a complex environment where microbes communicate through signalling molecules in a system, generally known as quorum sensing (QS). One of the most common QS systems in Gram-negative proteobacteria is based on the production of N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) by a LuxI synthase and their perception by a LuxR sensor. Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), the aetiological agent of the bacterial canker of kiwifruit, colonises plant phyllosphere before penetrating via wounds and natural openings. Since Psa genome encodes three LuxR solos without a cognate LuxI, this bacterium may perceive diffusible signals, but it cannot produce AHLs, displaying a non-canonical QS system. The elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the perception of environmental cues in the phyllosphere by this pathogen and their influence on the onset of pathogenesis are of crucial importance for a long-lasting and sustainable management of the bacterial canker of kiwifruit. Here, we report the ability of Psa to sense its own population density and the presence of surrounding bacteria. Moreover, we show that Psa can perceive AHLs, indicating that AHL-producing neighbouring bacteria may regulate Psa virulence in the host. Our results suggest that the ecological environment is important in determining Psa fitness and pathogenic potential. This opens new perspectives in the use of more advanced biochemical and microbiological tools for the control of bacterial canker of kiwifruit.


AHL,Actinidia chinensis,Bacterial canker,Kiwifruit,Quorum sensing,

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