A LuxR homologue of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is required for optimal rice virulence

Mol Plant Pathol. 2007 Jul;8(4):529-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2007.00415.x.


In Gram-negative bacteria a typical quorum sensing (QS) system usually involves the production and response to acylated homoserine lactones (AHLs). An AHL QS system is most commonly mediated by a LuxI family AHL synthase and a LuxR family AHL response regulator. This study reports for the first time the presence of a LuxR family-type regulator in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which has been designated as OryR. The primary structure of OryR contains the typical signature domains of AHL QS LuxR family response regulators: an AHL-binding and a HTH DNA binding motif. The oryR gene is conserved among 26 Xoo strains and is also present in the genomes of close relatives X. campestris pv. campestris and X. axonopodis pv. citri. Disrupting oryR in three Xoo strains resulted in a significant reduction of rice virulence. The wild-type Xoo strains do not seem to produce AHLs and analysis of the Xoo sequenced genomes did not reveal the presence of a LuxI-family AHL synthase. The OryR protein was shown to be induced by macerated rice and affected the production of two secreted proteins: a cell-wall-degrading cellobiosidase and a 20-kDa protein of unknown function. By expressing and purifying OryR it was then observed that it was solubilized when grown in the presence of rice extract indicating that there could be a molecule(s) in rice which binds OryR. The role of OryR as a possible in planta induced LuxR family regulator is discussed.