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Strangers with benefits, remaking the phyllosphere through disease
Jeri Barak: University of Wisconsin-Madison
<div>Among the complex microbiome membership of the phyllosphere is the periodic inclusion of human enteric pathogens, such as <i>Salmonella enterica. </i>Despite the reoccurrence of <i>S. enterica</i> in the phyllosphere heralded by the numerous outbreaks of salmonellosis due to consumption of raw produce, little is known about the mechanisms which influence its persistence. <i>S. enterica</i> is non-pathogenic on plants, and populations normally decline in the phyllosphere, indicating that it is less fit on healthy plants. Bacteria frequently form alliances in the phyllosphere, resulting in enhanced fitness success. Plant pathogen infection has been shown to be a critical factor for epiphytic persistence of <i>S. enterica</i> on plants. Virulent <i>Xanthomonas perforans </i>(Xp) suppress pathogen associated molecular patterns-triggered immunity resulting in effector-triggered susceptibility which in turn increases persistence of <i>S. enterica </i>on infected leaves. Furthermore, we found that <i>S. enterica </i>could replicate on plants infected with <i>X. euvesicatoria </i>or<i> X. gardneri. </i>Thus, phytobacterial infections and the disease caused by these pathogens directly increase the risk that produce will maintain viable enteric human pathogen populations. Since our previous work ruled out any physical interaction between <i>S. enterica </i>and <i>Xanthomonas</i>, we hypothesize that physiological change to the phyllosphere during disease development influences <i>S. enterica </i>populations. Specific changes in the phyllosphere caused by a discrete set of the xanthomonads lead to <i>S. enterica </i>replication and changes in colonization sites of the human pathogen revealing an important mechanism that influences this plant pathogen – human pathogen interaction.</div>

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