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StoS, a Hybrid Histidine Kinase Sensor of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, Is Activated by Sensing Low O2 Concentration and Is Involved in Stress Tolerance and Virulence

June 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  6
Pages  537 - 545

Yumi Ikawa,1 Ayako Furutani,2 Hirokazu Ochiai,3 and Seiji Tsuge1

1Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan; 2Gene Research Center, Ibaraki University, Inashiki, 300-0393, Japan; 3National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba 305-8602, Japan

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Accepted 3 February 2014.

Bacteria have two-component signal transduction systems (TCSTS), which are important devices for receiving various environmental signals. A TCSTS generally consists of a sensor histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR) that contains a receiver domain. There are also hybrid-type HK (HyHK) that comprise a HK with a receiver domain within one molecule. In this study, we show that the deletion mutant of a HyHK XOO_0635 (StoS) of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent of bacterial leaf blight of rice, had decreased stress tolerance to high osmolarity, sodium, and H2O2. Growth of the StoS mutant was delayed, and viability was lower than the wild type in medium and in rice leaves. We found that StoS regulates the expression of various genes including XOO_3715, XOO_0131, and stoS itself. A domain search revealed a PAS domain with a heme pocket in StoS, implying that the HyHK functions as an O2 sensor. When the bacteria were incubated in low oxygen, the StoS-dependent expression of XOO_0131 and XOO_3715 became higher. Therefore, StoS is activated by sensing a low O2 concentration in its environs and is involved in gene expression for adapting to various stressful conditions.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society