Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 9;8(9):e73718. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073718. eCollection 2013.

Role and regulation of the Flp/Tad pilus in the virulence of Pectobacterium atrosepticum SCRI1043 and Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193.

Author information

1
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

In this study, we characterized a putative Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene cluster, and we examined its regulation at the transcriptional level and its role in the virulence of potato pathogenic enterobacteria of the genus Pectobacterium. The Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene clusters in Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Pectobacterium wasabiae and Pectobacterium aroidearum were compared to previously characterized flp/tad gene clusters, including that of the well-studied Flp/Tad pilus model organism Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, in which this pilus is a major virulence determinant. Comparative analyses revealed substantial protein sequence similarity and open reading frame synteny between the previously characterized flp/tad gene clusters and the cluster in Pectobacterium, suggesting that the predicted flp/tad gene cluster in Pectobacterium encodes a Flp/Tad pilus-like structure. We detected genes for a novel two-component system adjacent to the flp/tad gene cluster in Pectobacterium, and mutant analysis demonstrated that this system has a positive effect on the transcription of selected Flp/Tad pilus biogenesis genes, suggesting that this response regulator regulate the flp/tad gene cluster. Mutagenesis of either the predicted regulator gene or selected Flp/Tad pilus biogenesis genes had a significant impact on the maceration ability of the bacterial strains in potato tubers, indicating that the Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene cluster represents a novel virulence determinant in Pectobacterium. Soft-rot enterobacteria in the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya are of great agricultural importance, and an investigation of the virulence of these pathogens could facilitate improvements in agricultural practices, thus benefiting farmers, the potato industry and consumers.

PMID:
24040039
PMCID:
PMC3767616
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073718
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center