Methylome Response to Proteasome Inhibition by Pseudomonas syringae Virulence Factor Syringolin A

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2023 Nov;36(11):693-704. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-06-23-0080-R. Epub 2023 Nov 27.


DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark required for proper gene expression and silencing of transposable elements. DNA methylation patterns can be modified by environmental factors such as pathogen infection, in which modification of DNA methylation can be associated with plant resistance. To counter the plant defense pathways, pathogens produce effector molecules, several of which act as proteasome inhibitors. Here, we investigated the effect of proteasome inhibition by the bacterial virulence factor syringolin A (SylA) on genome-wide DNA methylation. We show that SylA treatment results in an increase of DNA methylation at centromeric and pericentromeric regions of Arabidopsis chromosomes. We identify several CHH differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that are enriched in the proximity of transcriptional start sites. SylA treatment does not result in significant changes in small RNA composition. However, significant changes in genome transcriptional activity can be observed, including a strong upregulation of resistance genes that are located on chromosomal arms. We hypothesize that DNA methylation changes could be linked to the upregulation of some atypical members of the de novo DNA methylation pathway, namely AGO3, AGO9, and DRM1. Our data suggests that modification of genome-wide DNA methylation resulting from an inhibition of the proteasome by bacterial effectors could be part of an epi-genomic arms race against pathogens. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; DNA methylation; bacterial defense; proteasome inhibition; syringolin A.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Argonaute Proteins / genetics
  • Epigenome
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / genetics
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / pharmacology
  • Pseudomonas syringae / genetics
  • Pseudomonas syringae / metabolism
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism


  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • syringolin A
  • Virulence Factors
  • AGO9 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Argonaute Proteins