Genome sequencing and functional characterization of xanthomonas cucurbitae, the causal agent of bacterial spot disease of cucurbits

Rikky Rai, Julius Pasion, Tanvi Majumdar, Cory E. Green, Sarah R. Hind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacterial leaf spot disease caused by Xanthomonas cucurbitae has severely affected the pumpkin industries in the Midwestern region of United States, with the bacteria mainly infecting pumpkin leaves and fruits, and leading to significant yield losses. In this study, we utilized genomics and genetics approaches to elucidate X. cucurbitae molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis during interaction with its host. We generated the first reference-quality whole-genome sequence of the X. cucurbitae type isolate and compared with other Xanthomonas species, X. cucurbitae has a smaller genome size with fewer virulence-related genes. RNA-seq analysis of X. cucurbitae under plant-mimicking media conditions showed altered transcriptional responses, with upregulation of virulence genes and downregulation of cellular homeostasis genes. Additionally, characterization of key virulence genes using gene deletion methods revealed that both type II enzymes and type III effectors are necessary for X. cucurbitae to cause infection in the pumpkin host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1300
Number of pages12
JournalPhytopathology
Volume111
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Bacterial pathogens
  • Bacterial spot
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cell wall-degrading enzymes
  • Cucurbits
  • Genomics
  • Type III secretion system
  • Xanthomonas cucurbitae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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