Dissection of bacterial wilt on Medicago truncatula revealed two type III secretion system effectors acting on root infection process and disease development

Marie Turner, Alain Jauneau, Stéphane Genin, Marie José Tavella, Fabienne Vailleau, Laurent Gentzbittel, Marie Françoise Jardinaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ralstonia solanacearum is the causal agent of the devastating bacterial wilt disease, which colonizes susceptible Medicago truncatula via the intact root tip. Infection involves four steps: appearance of root tip symptoms, root tip cortical cell invasion, vessel colonization, and foliar wilting. We examined this pathosystem by in vitro inoculation of intact roots of susceptible or resistant M. truncatula with the pathogenic strain GMI1000. The infection process was type III secretion system dependent and required two type III effectors, Gala7 and AvrA, which were shown to be involved at different stages of infection. Both effectors were involved in development of root tip symptoms, and Gala7 was the main determinant for bacterial invasion of cortical cells. Vessel invasion depended on the host genetic background and was never observed in the resistant line. The invasion of the root tip vasculature in the susceptible line caused foliar wilting. The avrA mutant showed reduced aggressiveness in all steps of the infection process, suggesting a global role in R. solanacearum pathogenicity. The roles of these two effectors in subsequent stages were studied using an assay that bypassed the penetration step; with this assay, the avrA mutant showed no effect compared with the GMI1000 strain, indicating that AvrA is important in early stages of infection. However, later disease symptoms were reduced in the gala7 mutant, indicating a key role in later stages of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1713-1722
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume150
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

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