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Role of an In Planta-Expressed Xylanase of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae in Promoting Virulence on Rice

August 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  8
Pages  830 - 837

R. Rajeshwari , Gopaljee Jha , and Ramesh V. Sonti

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad - 500 007, India

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Accepted 29 March 2005.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is the causal agent of bacterial leaf blight, a serious disease of rice. We demonstrated earlier that the type II secretion system (T2S) is important for virulence of X. oryzae pv. oryzae and that several proteins, including a xylanase, are secreted through this system. In this study, the xynB gene encoding for the secreted xylanase was cloned as a 6.9-kb Eco RI fragment (pRR7) that also included a paralog called xynA. As in X. oryzae pv. oryzae, xynA and xynB are adjacent to each other in X. axonopodis pv. citri, whereas only the xynA homolog is present in X. campestris pv. campestris. Mutations in xynB but not xynA affect secreted xylanase activity. Western blot analysis using anti-XynB antibodies on exudates from infected rice leaves indicated that this xylanase is expressed during in planta growth. Another T2S-secreted protein was identified to be a lipase/esterase (LipA) based on the sequence tags obtained by tandem mass spectrometry analysis and biochemical assays. Mutations in either xynB or lipA partially affected virulence. However, a lipA-xynB double mutant was significantly reduced for virulence, and the pRR7 clone containing an intact xynB gene could complement the virulence-deficient phenotype of the lipA-xynB mutant. Our results suggest that there is functional redundancy among the T2S secreted proteins of X. oryzae pv. oryzae in promoting virulence on rice.

Additional keywords: cell-wall-degrading enzymes , rice pathogen .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society