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Identification of Pectin Degrading Enzymes Secreted by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and Determination of Their Role in Virulence on Rice

posted on 01.12.2016, 18:15 by Lavanya Tayi, Roshan V. Maku, Hitendra Kumar Patel, Ramesh V. Sonti

Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo) causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bioinformatics analysis indicated the presence of four pectin homogalacturonan (HG) degrading genes in the genome of Xoo. The four HG degrading genes include one polygalacturonase (pglA), one pectin methyl esterase (pmt) and two pectate lyases (pel and pelL). There was no difference in the expression of pglA, pmt and pel genes by laboratory wild type Xoo strain (BXO43) grown in either nutrient rich PS medium or in plant mimic XOM2 medium whereas the expression of pelL gene was induced in XOM2 medium as indicated by qRT-PCR experiments. Gene disruption mutations were generated in each of these four genes. The polygalacturonase mutant pglA- was completely deficient in degrading the substrate Na-polygalacturonicacid (PGA). Strains carrying mutations in the pmt, pel and pelL genes were as efficient as wild type Xoo (BXO43) in cleaving PGA. These observations clearly indicate that PglA is the major pectin degrading enzyme produced by Xoo. The pectin methyl esterase, Pmt, is the pectin de-esterifying enzyme secreted by Xoo as evident from the enzymatic activity assay performed using pectin as the substrate. Mutations in the pglA, pmt, pel and pelL genes have minimal effects on virulence. This suggests that, as compared to cellulases and xylanases, the HG degrading enzymes may not have a major role in the pathogenicity of Xoo.