An ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid virulence factor from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola


Publication Type:

Journal Article


New Phytol, Volume 206, Number 1, p.295-302 (2015)



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Both plants and fungi produce ent-kaurene as a precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. A number of rhizobia contain functionally conserved, sequentially acting ent-copalyl diphosphate and ent-kaurene synthases (CPS and KS, respectively), which are found within a well-conserved operon that may lead to the production of gibberellins. Intriguingly, the rice bacterial leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) contains a homologous operon. Here, we report biochemical characterization of the encoded CPS and KS, and the impact of insertional mutagenesis on virulence and the plant defense response for these genes, as well as that for one of the cytochromes P450 (CYP112) found in the operon. Activity of the CPS and KS found in this phytopathogen was verified - that is, Xoc is capable of producing ent-kaurene. Moreover, knocking out CPS, KS or CYP112 led to mutant Xoc that exhibited reduced virulence. Investigation of the effect on marker gene transcript levels suggests that the Xoc diterpenoid affects the plant defense response, most directly that mediated by jasmonic acid (JA). Xoc produces an ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid as a virulence factor, potentially a gibberellin phytohormone, which is antagonistic to JA, consistent with the recent recognition of opposing effects for these phytohormones on the microbial defense response.


1469-8137<br/>Lu, Xuan<br/>Hershey, David M<br/>Wang, Li<br/>Bogdanove, Adam J<br/>Peters, Reuben J<br/>Journal Article<br/>England<br/>New Phytol. 2015 Apr;206(1):295-302. doi: 10.1111/nph.13187. Epub 2014 Nov 18.