Resistance of Dickeya solani strain IPO 2222 to lytic bacteriophage ΦD5 results in fitness tradeoffs for the bacterium during infection

Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 24;12(1):10725. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14956-7.


Resistance to bacteriophage infections protects bacteria in phage-replete environments, enabling them to survive and multiply in the presence of their viral predators. However, such resistance may confer costs for strains, reducing their ecological fitness as expressed as competitiveness for resources or virulence or both. There is limited knowledge about such costs paid by phage-resistant plant pathogenic bacteria in their natural habitats. This study analyzed the costs of phage resistance paid by the phytopathogenic pectinolytic bacterium Dickeya solani both in vitro and in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plants. Thirteen Tn5 mutants of D. solani IPO 2222 were identified that exhibited resistance to infection by lytic bacteriophage vB_Dsol_D5 (ΦD5). The genes disrupted in these mutants encoded proteins involved in the synthesis of bacterial envelope components (viz. LPS, EPS and capsule). Although phage resistance did not affect most of the phenotypes of ΦD5-resistant D. solani such as growth rate, production of effectors, swimming and swarming motility, use of various carbon and nitrogen sources and biofilm formation evaluated in vitro, all phage resistant mutants were significantly compromised in their ability to survive on leaf surfaces as well as to grow within and cause disease symptoms in potato plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages* / genetics
  • Dickeya
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Solanum tuberosum* / microbiology

Supplementary concepts

  • Dickeya solani