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Plant defenses prompt bacterial countermeasure in the form of 'island' DNA excision

nd that this excision occurs in response to a so-called hypersensitive resistance reaction by the plant . The specific plant signals that are sensed by the pathogen to trigger the excision event remain to be identified.

If some bacterial proteins give away the presence of the pathogen to the plant, why are they and their surrounding genomic islands maintained by the bacteria at all? There are many genes included in the genomic island that is excised by the halo-bright strains studied here, and these other genes may well encode proteins that allow the pathogen to survive optimally in the light-intensive regions of eastern and southern Africa where these strains are found. Remarkably, bacteria that have excised the genomic island do not appear compromised in their ability to grow and cause disease within the host bean plant.

These findings offer a molecular explanation for how exposure to plant resistance mechanisms can directly drive the evolution of new virulent forms of a bacterial pathogen.


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Source:Cell Press


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