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The Rice Bacterial Pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Produces 3-Hydroxybenzoic Acid and 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid via XanB2 for Use in Xanthomonadin, Ubiquinone, and Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis

October 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  10
Pages  1,239 - 1,248

Lian Zhou,1 Tin-Wei Huang,1 Jia-Yuan Wang,1 Shuang Sun,1 Gongyou Chen,2 Alan Poplawsky,3 and Ya-Wen He1

1State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism and National Center for Molecular Characterization of GMOs, School of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China; 2School of Agriculture & Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China; 3Department of Plant, Soil & Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow 83844-2339, U.S.A.

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Accepted 22 May 2013.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent of rice bacterial blight, produces membrane-bound yellow pigments, referred to as xanthomonadins. Xanthomonadins protect the pathogen from photodamage and host-induced perioxidation damage. They are also required for epiphytic survival and successful host plant infection. Here, we show that XanB2 encoded by PXO_3739 plays a key role in xanthomonadin and coenzyme Q8 biosynthesis in X. oryzae pv. oryzae PXO99A. A xanB2 deletion mutant exhibits a pleiotropic phenotype, including xanthomonadin deficiency, producing less exopolysaccharide (EPS), lower viability and H2O2 resistance, and lower virulence. We further demonstrate that X. oryzae pv. oryzae produces 3-hydroxybenzoic acid (3-HBA) and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA) via XanB2. 3-HBA is associated with xanthomonadin biosynthesis while 4-HBA is mainly used as a precursor for coenzyme Q (CoQ)8 biosynthesis. XanB2 is the alternative source of 4-HBA for CoQ8 biosynthesis in PXO99A. These findings suggest that the roles of XanB2 in PXO99A are generally consistent with those in X. campestris pv. campestris. The present study also demonstrated that X. oryzae pv. oryzae PXO99A has evolved several specific features in 3-HBA and 4-HBA signaling. First, our results showed that PXO99A produces less 3-HBA and 4-HBA than X. campestris pv. campestris and this is partially due to a degenerated 4-HBA efflux pump. Second, PXO99A has evolved unique xanthomonadin induction patterns via 3-HBA and 4-HBA. Third, our results showed that 3-HBA or 4-HBA positively regulates the expression of gum cluster to promote EPS production in PXO99A. Taken together, the results of this study indicate that XanB2 is a key metabolic enzyme linking xanthomonadin, CoQ, and EPS biosynthesis, which are collectively essential for X. oryzae pv. oryzae pathogenesis.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society