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Antagonistic Interactions Between Strains of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae

June 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  6
Pages  705 - 711

Christopher Dardick , Francisco Goes da Silva , Yuwei Shen , and Pamela Ronald

Department of Plant Pathology, University of California Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616

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Accepted for publication 15 January 2003.

The ability of some phytopathogenic bacterial strains to inhibit the growth of others in mixed infections has been well documented. Here we report that such antagonistic interactions occur between several wild-type strains of the rice bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. In mixed inoculations, a wild-type Philippine strain was found to inhibit the growth of a wild-type Korean strain. Furthermore, a nonpathogenic mutant of the Philippine strain maintained these antagonistic properties. Growth curve analysis indicated that both the wild-type Philippine strain and its nonpathogenic mutant inhibited the growth of the Korean strain 2 days after infection and prior to the onset of disease symptoms. When mixed with the nonpathogenic mutant, 10 out of 18 diverse wild-type X. oryzae pv. oryzae strains did not cause disease. Conversely, three of the strains that were not affected by the nonpathogenic mutant were found to inhibit the growth of both the wild-type and mutant Philippine strains, indicating that antagonism is widespread and strain specific. The observed growth inhibition occurred only in planta and did not correlate with bacteriocin activity in vitro. Antagonistic interactions also were found to affect resistance (R) gene-mediated resistance. The R gene Xa21 was capable of protecting rice plants coinoculated with nonantagonistic virulent and avirulent strains; however, when avirulent strains were coinoculated with virulent antagonistic strains, disease ensued. Taken together, these results indicate that X. oryzae pv. oryzae has evolved strategies to compete with rival strains in a fashion that allows virulent strains to evade R gene-mediated protection even when avirulent strains are present in the inoculum.

Additional keywords: bacteriocin, resistance gene, type III secretion.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society