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The Bacterial Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione Reductase Are Crucial for Endophytic Colonization of Rice Roots by Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus PAL5

August 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  8
Pages  937 - 945

Sylvia Alquéres,1 Carlos Meneses,2 Luc Rouws,3 Michael Rothballer,1 Ivo Baldani,3 Michael Schmid,1 and Anton Hartmann1

1Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Research Unit Microbe-Plant Interactions, Ingolstädter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany; 2Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Departamento de Agroecologia e Agropecuária/MCA, 58429-500, Campina Grande, PB, Brazil; 3Laboratório de Genética e Bioquímica, Embrapa Agrobiologia, Rodovia BR 465, km 07, 23891-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil

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Accepted 19 April 2013.

Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus is an aerobic diazotrophic plant-growth-promoting bacterium isolated from different gramineous plants. We showed that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were produced at early stages of rice root colonization, a typical plant defense response against pathogens. The transcription of the pathogen-related-10 gene of the jasmonic acid (JA) pathway but not of the PR-1 gene of the salicylic acid pathway was activated by the endophytic colonization of rice roots by G. diazotrophicus strain PAL5. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that, at early stages of colonization, the bacteria upregulated the transcript levels of ROS-detoxifying genes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione reductase (GR). To proof the role of ROS-scavenging enzymes in the colonization and interaction process, transposon insertion mutants of the SOD and GR genes of strain PAL5 were constructed. The SOD and GR mutants were unable to efficiently colonize the roots, indicated by the decrease of tightly root-associated bacterial cell counts and endophytic colonization and by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. Interestingly, the mutants did not induce the PR-10 of the JA-pathway, probably due to the inability of endophytic colonization. Thus, ROS-scavenging enzymes of G. diazotrophicus strain PAL5 play an important role in the endophytic colonization of rice plants.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society