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Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a powerful proteomic technique to display protein activities in a proteome. It is based on the use of small molecular probes that react with the active site of proteins in an activity-dependent manner. We used ABPP to dissect the protein activity changes that occur in the intercellular spaces of tolerant (Hawaii 7996) and susceptible (Marmande) tomato plants in response to R. solanacearum, the causing agent of bacterial wilt, one of the most destructive bacterial diseases in plants. The intercellular space -or apoplast- is the first battlefield where the plant faces R. solanacearum Here, we explore the possibility that the limited R. solanacearum colonization reported in the apoplast of tolerant tomato is partly determined by its active proteome. Our work reveals specific activation of papain-like cysteine proteases (PLCPs) and serine hydrolases (SHs) in the leaf apoplast of the tolerant tomato Hawaii 7996 on R. solanacearum infection. The P69 family members P69C and P69F, and an unannotated lipase (Solyc02g077110.2.1), were found to be post-translationally activated. In addition, protein network analysis showed that deeper changes in network topology take place in the susceptible tomato variety, suggesting that the tolerant cultivar might be more prepared to face R. solanacearum in its basal state. Altogether this work identifies significant changes in the activity of 4 PLCPs and 27 SHs in the tomato leaf apoplast in response to R. solanacearum, most of which are yet to be characterized. Our findings denote the importance of novel proteomic approaches such as ABPP to provide new insights on old and elusive questions regarding the molecular basis of resistance to R. solanacearum.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Cell Proteomics

Publication Date





1112 - 1125


Activity-based protein profiling, Bacterial wilt, Disease resistance, Label-free quantification, Mass Spectrometry, Molecular Probes*, Plant Biology*, Proteases*, Ralstonia solanacearum, Secretome, Tomato