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Functional analysis of the TAL effectors from Xanthomonas citri and Xanthomonas aurantifolii patotipo C

Grant number: 11/19988-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal researcher:Celso Eduardo Benedetti
Grantee:Valeria Yukari Abe
Home Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The citrus industry is an important agribusiness sector in Brazil; however, despite its economic strength, the sector is facing several challenges due mostly to the need of controlling numerous citrus diseases including citrus canker, caused by the bacterial pathogens Xanthomonas citri and Xanthomonas aurantifolii. We have been studying the interaction of citrus plants with these pathogens and have found that while X. citri causes canker in all commercial sweet orange varieties, X. aurantifolii pathotype C is a pathogen of the Mexican lime only, and in sweet oranges it triggers a hypersensitive reaction (HR). The molecular basis for this differential pathogenicity is not yet known, however, we have noticed that X. citri and X. aurantifolii C have each a distinct set of the so-called "TAL" (transcription activator-like) effectors. For instance, we have evidence indicating that the TAL effectors from X. aurantifolii (PthCs 1 and 2) act as avirulence (Avr) factors in sweet orange whereas the effector proteins PthA2 and 4 from X. citri are associated with canker development. To elucidating the function of the X. citri and X. aurantifolii TAL effectors as pathogenicity and/or avirulence factors in different hosts, we plan to obtain mutants of X. citri with deletions in each of the four pthA genes. These mutants will be complemented with the corresponding genes; nevertheless, a mutant with the four pthA genes deleted will also be created and used to evaluate the contribution of each TAL effector from X. citri and X. aurantiifolii in pathogenicity/avirulence. In addition, we expect to complement another X. citri mutant, which lacks any functional TAL effector, with the pthA and pthC genes we have.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ABE, VALERIA YUKARI; BENEDETTI, CELSO EDUARDO. Additive roles of PthAs in bacterial growth and pathogenicity associated with nucleotide polymorphisms in effector-binding elements of citrus canker susceptibility genes. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 17, n. 8, p. 1223-1236, OCT 2016. Web of Science Citations: 7.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ABE, Valeria Yukari. Functional analysis of TAL effectors from Xanthomonas citri and Xanthomonas aurantifolii pathotype 'C' and gene target activation in host plants. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Instituto de Biologia.

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