New insight into bacterial social communication in natural host: Evidence for interplay of heterogeneous and unison quorum response

Autoři: Biswajit Samal aff001;  Subhadeep Chatterjee aff001
Působiště autorů: Lab of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, Telengana, India aff001;  Graduate studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: New insight into bacterial social communication in natural host: Evidence for interplay of heterogeneous and unison quorum response. PLoS Genet 15(9): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008395
Kategorie: Research Article


Many microbes exhibit quorum sensing (QS) to cooperate, share and perform a social task in unison. Recent studies have shown the emergence of reversible phenotypic heterogeneity in the QS-responding pathogenic microbial population under laboratory conditions as a possible bet-hedging survival strategy. However, very little is known about the dynamics of QS-response and the nature of phenotypic heterogeneity in an actual host-pathogen interaction environment. Here, we investigated the dynamics of QS-response of a Gram-negative phytopathogen Xanthomonas pv. campestris (Xcc) inside its natural host cabbage, that communicate through a fatty acid signal molecule called DSF (diffusible signal factor) for coordination of several social traits including virulence functions. In this study, we engineered a novel DSF responsive whole-cell QS dual-bioreporter to measure the DSF mediated QS-response in Xcc at the single cell level inside its natural host plant in vivo. Employing the dual-bioreporter strain of Xcc, we show that QS non-responsive cells coexist with responsive cells in microcolonies at the early stage of the disease; whereas in the late stages, the QS-response is more homogeneous as the QS non-responders exhibit reduced fitness and are out competed by the wild-type. Furthermore, using the wild-type Xcc and its QS mutants in single and mixed infection studies, we show that QS mutants get benefit to some extend at the early stage of disease and contribute to localized colonization. However, the QS-responding cells contribute to spread along xylem vessel. These results contrast with the earlier studies describing that expected cross-induction and cooperative sharing at high cell density in vivo may lead to synchronize QS-response. Our findings suggest that the transition from heterogeneity to homogeneity in QS-response within a bacterial population contributes to its overall virulence efficiency to cause disease in the host plant under natural environment.

Klíčová slova:

Biology and life sciences – Plant science – Plant anatomy – Leaves – Plant cell biology – Mesophyll – Plant pathology – Plant pathogens – Plant bacterial pathogens – Organisms – Eukaryota – Plants – Brassica – Cell biology – Research and analysis methods – Microscopy – Light microscopy – Confocal microscopy – Confocal laser microscopy – Imaging techniques – Fluorescence imaging


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