Genome-enabled discovery and characterization of type III effector-encoding genes of plant symbiotic bacteria Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0c483n56k

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  • Symbiosis is the close and protracted interaction between organisms. The molecular interactions that occur during symbiosis are complex with multiple barriers that must be overcome. Many Gram-negative, host-associated bacteria use a type III secretion system to mediate associations with their eukaryotic hosts. This secretion system is a specialized apparatus for the injection of type III effector proteins directly into host cells, which in the case of plant pathogens, are collectively necessary to modulate host defense. The type III secretion system is not a mechanism exclusive to pathogens, however, as many strains of commensal Pseudomonas fluorescens and mutualistic rhizobia demonstrably require a type III secretion system to interact with their host plants. The work presented in this thesis describes genome-enabled approaches for characterizing type III effector genes across the range of plant symbiosis. Using high-throughput sequencing technology, draft genome sequences were generated for the plant pathogen, Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae M081, the plant commensal, Pseudomonas fluorescens WH6, and six strains from the plant mutualists Sinorhizobium fredii and Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Analyses of the draft genome sequences and publicly available finished sequences contributed insights into mechanisms of host-association and to increasing the inventory of type III effector sequences as well as developing methods directly applicable for agriculture. Finally, characterization of the genetic diversity of type III effectors from rhizobia shows that collections of type III effectors of mutualists are static, with little diversity in content and sequence variation. This represents the first comprehensive cataloging of type III effector from species of mutualistic bacteria and the first to provide evidence for purifying selection of this important class of genes.
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