Caister Academic Press

Bacteria-Plant Interactions: Advanced Research and Future Trends

"an up-to-date overview" (Ringgold)
"a timely overview ... Essential reading" (Biotechnol. Agron. Soc. Environ.)
"excellent all-round information" (BioSpektrum)
Publisher: Caister Academic Press
Edited by: Jesús Murillo1, Boris A. Vinatzer2, Robert W. Jackson3 and Dawn L. Arnold4
1Laboratorio de Patología Vegetal, Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; 2Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA; 3School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK; 4Centre for Research in Biosciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
Pages: x + 228
Publication date: March 2015
ISBN: 978-1-908230-58-4
Price: GB £199 or US $319Buy book or Buy online
Publication date: February 2015
ISBN: 978-1-910190-00-5
Price: US $319Buy ebook

The relative food prosperity of the 1980/90s has been eroded in recent years through the convergence of a variety of factors including climate change, human population growth, foodborne pathogens and microbial plant pathogens. Today food security has become an urgent major global challenge. One important area of research that aims to aid the production of sufficient, safe and nutritious food has focused on the plant-microbe interaction. Understanding this is an important prerequisite for the development of strategies to protect plants from pathogens and/or to prevent contamination of food with human pathogens.

In this book a team of respected scientists review the most important current topics to provide a timely overview. The topics covered include: type III secretion systems and their role in the bacterial-host interaction; the Pseudomonas and Erwinia model systems and their application to other studies; the emerging plant pathogen Acidovorax; the Gram-positive phytopathogens Clavibacter, Streptomyces, and Rhodococcus; colonisation of plants by human bacterial pathogens; Pseudomonas biocontrol approaches; and phage therapy. Essential reading for every plant pathogen researcher, from the PhD student to the experienced scientist, and recommended reading for researchers working on foodborne pathogens and bacterial pathogenesis.


"The editors and their international contributors provide an up-to-date overview" from Ringgold (February 2015).

"a timely overview ... Essential reading" from Biotechnol. Agron. Soc. Environ. (2015) 19: 313.

"The four editors and the main authors of the article are all well-known experts in the field, so the quality is high as expected ... offers excellent all-round information, which cannot be found in specialized journals" from BioSpektrum (2015) 21: 676.

Table of contents
1. Functional Diversification of Phytopathogenic Type III Secreted Effector Proteins
Amy Huei-Yi Lee, Heath O'Brien, Timothy Lo, David S. Guttman and Darrell Desveaux
Pages: 1-30.
Bacterial phytopathogens and mutualistic symbionts utilize the type III secretion system (T3SS) to deliver type III secreted effector (T3SE) proteins into host cells in order to manipulate host immunity or cellular processes and integrity, with the ultimate aim of promoting bacterial growth and transmission. A large amount of experimental work has gone into the identification of T3SEs. However, a majority have no known host targets or characterized modes of action. The recent explosion in genome sequences of bacterial phytopathogens has led to the rapid identification of a large number of divergent homologs of known T3SEs, but the majority of functional work has been done on single representatives of a given T3SE family. In cases where multiple homologs have been characterized, they often exhibit striking divergence in targets, cofactor requirements, and virulence and immune recognition functions. Comparative genomics and functional analysis of T3SE homologs across bacterial pathogens of both plants and animals will enhance our understanding of host specificity and pathogenesis.
2. Systems Biology of Pseudomonas syringae Type III Secretion Effector Repertoires
Magdalen Lindeberg and Alan Collmer
Pages: 31-60.
Pseudomonas syringae defeats the two-tiered innate immune system of plants primarily with effector proteins that are injected into host cells by the type III secretion system. Although effector repertoires are remarkably diverse among P. syringae pathovars and even among strains virulent on the same host, they share several properties suggesting that effectors in a repertoire operate as components of a system. Much progress has been made in understanding the structure, function, and evolution of P. syringae effector repertoires. Multiple approaches for identifying effector genes have been applied to several sequenced reference strains and then extended to yield a tentative super-repertoire for the P. syringae species pangenome. Comparative and functional genomic studies have revealed patterns in repertoire composition and mechanisms of effector gene gain, loss, and allelic polymorphism. Substantial progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms by which effectors subvert host immunity-associated proteins. Information on P. syringae effectors is thus accumulating at multiple levels, from dynamics of gene distribution in field strains to structural biology of effector interactions with host targets. A challenge for the future is to identify vulnerabilities in the apparent robustness of effector repertoires that can be exploited for more durable crop resistance to the many diseases caused by P. syringae.
3. Towards Understanding Fire Blight: Virulence Mechanisms and Their Regulation in Erwinia Amylovora
R. Ryan McNally, Youfu Zhao and George W. Sundin
Pages: 61-82.
Erwinia amylovora is the causal agent of fire blight, a destructive disease of rosaceous species like apple and pear. For more than thirty years, research regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying fire blight disease development has identified many genetic determinants required for virulence by E. amylovora. These included type III secretion and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis as well as other factors that contribute to pathogenicity. A host of regulatory mechanisms coordinate the activity of all virulence factors in E. amylovora and are integral to our understanding of the pathogenesis process. As the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant E. amylovora populations threatens our ability to successfully manage fire blight severity, a more complete understanding of E. amylovora biology will be of vital importance in developing robust management strategies for the future.
4. Plant Pathogenic Acidovorax Species
Tally Rosenberg, Noam Eckshtain-Levi and Saul Burdman
Pages: 83-100.
The Acidovorax genus belongs to the Proteobacteria phylum, and comprises species that possess a variety of lifestyles, with its members inhabiting different environments, including soil, water and interactions with eukaryotic organisms. In the present chapter, we focus on Acidovorax species that are pathogenic on plants. Acidovorax species are able to cause disease to a variety of agriculturally and economically important crops. Moreover, some diseases caused by Acidovorax strains have been spreading worldwide in recent years and their importance is substantially increasing. One example is seedling blight and bacterial fruit blotch of cucurbit crops caused by Acidovorax citrulli, a disease that was barely known until the late 1980s' and today is one of the most serious threats to the cucurbit industry worldwide. Here we summarize taxonomical aspects of plant pathogenic species of Acidovorax and describe major diseases caused by members of this genus, with emphasis on their epidemiology, control and basic aspects of pathogenesis and plant-pathogen interactions.
5. The Interactions Between Gram-positive Pathogens and Plant Hosts
Elizabeth A. Savory, Allison L. Creason, Olivier M. Vandeputte, Edward W. Davis II and Jeff H. Chang
Pages: 101-138.
Gram-positive bacteria are scientifically interesting and economically important pathogens of many plants. Despite the small number of reported disease causing species, these bacteria display a wide range of lifestyles on plants, from being xylem-limited and practically obligatory, to opportunistic environmental pathogens. In line with the diversity of lifestyles, their evolutionary paths, genome characteristics, and virulence mechanisms are also highly variable. In this chapter, the attributes of plant pathogenic Clavibacter, Streptomyces, and Rhodococcus are discussed in the context of models derived from Gram-negative phytopathogens to highlight key differences. The Gram-positive phytopathogens present a number of opportunities to contribute new insights into the mechanisms of plant-microbial interactions and the evolution of a host-adapted lifestyle in bacteria.
6. The Molecular Interactions Between Human Pathogenic Bacteria and Plants
Nicola J. Holden, Ashleigh Holmes, Yannick Rossez and Robert W. Jackson
Pages: 139-166.
Human pathogenic bacteria that are able to persist and proliferate outside animal hosts can interact directly with plants to exploit them as alternative hosts. The interactions are complex involving adaptive processes for both the bacterium and plant. Experimental evidence has been increasing over recent time and shows functional roles for various bacterial factors, including those required for adherence and metabolism. Furthermore, plant hosts are able to respond to bacterial colonisation and mount an effective response, although some pathogens appear to be able to overcome these responses. As with interactions between human pathogenic bacteria and animal hosts, or with phytopathogens and plant hosts, there are important specificities that influence the outcome of these interactions. Our current understanding of the relationships between bacteria and plant hosts is on the verge of identifying the true nature of these interactions, which will in the longer term enable targeted solutions to increase the safety of fresh produce.
7. Recent Advances in Pseudomonas Biocontrol
Feyisara Eyiwumi Olorunleke, Nam Phuong Kieu and Monica Höfte
Pages: 167-198.
Fluorescent Pseudomonads have been intensively studied as biocontrol agents. These organisms exhibit an enormous metabolic versatility and especially isolates from the P. fluorescens group produce a remarkable spectrum of secondary metabolites. Multilocus sequence analysis and phylogenomics have revealed the presence of at least five distinct subgroups in the P. fluorescens group with biocontrol isolates previously classified as P. fluorescens interspersed with strains classified in other species. Antibiotics such as phenazines, diacetylphloroglucinol, and hydrogen cyanide are produced by certain taxonomic groups within the genus Pseudomonas and appear to be ancestral. These compounds often have a physiological role for the producing strain, independent from their antibiotic activity. Other secondary metabolites are only found in certain Pseudomonas isolates and are apparently obtained by horizontal gene transfer. The recent boost in genome sequencing has revealed many orphan biosynthetic gene clusters in the genomes of Pseudomonas biocontrol strains. Genome mining has led to the discovery of many new antimicrobial compounds with a role in biocontrol of plant pathogenic fungi, oomycetes and bacteria. Moreover, some Pseudomonas biocontrol strains produce potent insect toxins. The versatility of Pseudomonas biocontrol agents continues to surprise.
8. The Potential Role of Bacteriophages in Shaping Plant-Bacterial Interactions
B. Koskella and T. B. Taylor
Pages: 199-220.
Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and abundant across ecosystems. Given that they are also capable of lysing bacterial host cells, mediating horizontal gene transfer among bacterial genomes, and altering bacterial phenotype, phages are likely to have significant impact on the interaction between bacteria and their host plants. In this chapter we first review the current understanding of bacteria-phage ecology and evolution gained both from experiments performed under controlled, laboratory settings and from observations in natural settings. We then discuss the extent to which this understanding can help inform predictions about the effects of phages on plant-associated bacterial populations and communities, and highlight key studies setting out to test these predictions. Finally, we discuss the potential use of phages as biocontrol agents of plant pathogens and highlight the need for more data regarding the evolutionary implications of these treatments and the ecological impact of phages on bacterial community-level processes.

How to buy this book

(EAN: 9781908230584 9781910190005 Subjects: [microbiology] [bacteriology] [molecular microbiology] [genomics] [environmental microbiology] [plant science] )