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Plants that interact with pathogenic bacteria in their natural environments have developed barriers to block or contain the infection. Phytopathogenic bacteria have evolved mechanisms to subvert these defenses and promote infection. Thus, the type 3 secretion system (T3SS) delivers bacterial effectors directly into the plant cells to alter host signaling and suppress defenses, providing an appropriate environment for bacterial multiplication. Some rhizobial strains possess a symbiotic T3SS that seems to be involved in the suppression of host defenses to promote nodulation and determine the host range. In this work, we show that the inactivation of the Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii HH103 T3SS negatively affects soybean nodulation in the early stages of the symbiotic process, which is associated with a reduction of the expression of early nodulation genes. This symbiotic phenotype could be the consequence of the bacterial triggering of soybean defense responses associated with the production of salicylic acid (SA) and the impairment of the T3SS mutant to suppress these responses. Interestingly, the early induction of the transcription of GmMPK4, which negatively regulates SA accumulation and defense responses in soybean via WRKY33, could be associated with the differential defense responses induced by the parental and the T3SS mutant strain.

Original publication

DOI

10.1094/MPMI-01-15-0020-R

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mol Plant Microbe Interact

Publication Date

07/2015

Volume

28

Pages

790 - 799

Keywords

Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Isoleucine, Mutation, Plant Roots, Salicylic Acid, Sinorhizobium fredii, Soybeans, Symbiosis