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Phytopathology. 2013 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Ax21-triggered immunity plays a significant role in rice defense against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

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  • 1China Agricultural University, College of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China ;


XA21, as a pattern recognition receptor in rice, senses the quorum-sensing (QS) signal molecule Ax21 secreted by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and mediates hypersensitive response-like immunity against the pathogen. However, for the infection of another pathovar, X. o. pv. oryzicola (Xoc), relatively weak defense responses are observed in XA21-containing rice cultivars. In the present study, we demonstrated that the Xoc Δax21 mutant caused more severe disease symptoms than the wild type in XA21 rice cv. IRBB21, but not in non-Xa21 rice cv. Taipei 309. The substance(s) secreted by the wild-type Xoc strain, but not those by the ax21 mutant triggered host immunity against Xoo PXO99 Δax21 in Xa21 rice. Immunoblot analysis corroborated that Xoc, like Xoo, synthesizes and secretes Ax21. Furthermore, the membrane fusion protein RaxA was demonstrated to be required, but the ATP-binding cassette transporter RaxB was dispensable for Ax21 secretion in Xoc. In addition, we demonstrated that Ax21 functions as a QS signal molecule that regulates biofilm formation in Xoc. However, Ax21 signaling is dispensable for bacterial motility, the production of extracellular polysaccharide and protease secretion in Xoc. Interestingly, the two-component system RaxR/H was involved in the regulation of bacterial motility and the regulation was likely independent on Ax21 signaling in Xoc. Taken together, the results indicated that Ax21 secreted by Xoc might induce plant immunity that plays a significant role in rice defense against the pathogen infection.

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