(1,3; 1,4)-β-D-glucan, also known as mixed linkage glucan (MLG), is a polysaccharide that in flowering plants is unique to the cell walls of grasses and other related members of Poales. MLG is highly abundant in endosperm cell walls, where it is considered a storage carbohydrate. In vegetative tissues, MLG transiently accumulates in the primary cell walls of young, elongating organs. In evolutionary distant species such as Equisetum, MLG accumulates predominantly in old tissues in the stems. Similarly, we have recently shown that rice accumulates a large amount of MLG in mature stems, which prompted us to re-evaluate the hypothesis that MLG is solely related to growth in grass vegetative tissues. Here, we summarize data that confirms the presence of MLG in secondary cell walls and mature tissues in rice and other grasses. Along with these results, we discuss additional evidence indicating a broader role for MLG than previously considered.
(1,3; 1,4)-β-D-glucan; grass cell walls; hemicelluloses; mixed linkage glucan antibody; secondary cell wall
Plants are continuously challenged by pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The plant immune system recognizes invading pathogens and responds by activating an immune response. These responses occur rapidly and often involve post-translational modifications (PTMs) within the proteome. Protein phosphorylation is a common and intensively studied form of these PTMs and regulates many plant processes including plant growth, development, and immunity. Most well-characterized pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including Xanthomonas resistance 21, flagellin sensitive 2, and elongation factor-Tu receptor, possess intrinsic protein kinase activity and regulate downstream signaling through phosphorylation events. Here, we focus on the phosphorylation events of plant PRRs that play important roles in the immune response. We also discuss the role of phosphorylation in regulating mitogen-associated protein kinase cascades and transcription factors in plant immune signaling.
EFR; FLS2; pattern recognition receptor; plant immunity; post-translational modifications; protein phosphorylation; XA21
Despite the importance of wheat as a major staple crop and the negative impact of diseases on its production worldwide, the genetic mechanisms and gene interactions involved in the resistance response in wheat are still poorly understood. The complete sequence of the rice genome has provided an extremely useful parallel road map for genetic and genomics studies in wheat. The recent construction of a defense response interactome in rice has the potential to further enhance the translation of advances in rice to wheat and other grasses. The objective of this study was to determine the degree of conservation in the protein-protein interactions in the rice and wheat defense response interactomes. As entry points we selected proteins that serve as key regulators of the rice defense response: the RAR1/SGT1/HSP90 protein complex, NPR1, XA21, and XB12 (XA21 interacting protein 12).
Using available wheat sequence databases and phylogenetic analyses we identified and cloned the wheat orthologs of these four rice proteins, including recently duplicated paralogs, and their known direct interactors and tested 86 binary protein interactions using yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) assays. All interactions between wheat proteins were further tested using in planta bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). Eighty three percent of the known rice interactions were confirmed when wheat proteins were tested with rice interactors and 76% were confirmed using wheat protein pairs. All interactions in the RAR1/SGT1/ HSP90, NPR1 and XB12 nodes were confirmed for the identified orthologous wheat proteins, whereas only forty four percent of the interactions were confirmed in the interactome node centered on XA21. We hypothesize that this reduction may be associated with a different sub-functionalization history of the multiple duplications that occurred in this gene family after the divergence of the wheat and rice lineages.
The observed high conservation of interactions between proteins that serve as key regulators of the rice defense response suggests that the existing rice interactome can be used to predict interactions in wheat. Such predictions are less reliable for nodes that have undergone a different history of duplications and sub-functionalization in the two lineages.
AvrRxv is a member of a family of pathogen effectors present in pathogens of both plant and mammalian species. Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria strains carrying AvrRxv induce a hypersensitive response (HR) in the tomato cultivar Hawaii 7998. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified a 14-3-3 protein from tomato that interacts with AvrRxv called AvrRxv Interactor 1 (ARI1). The interaction was confirmed in vitro with affinity chromatography. Using mutagenesis, we identified a 14-3-3-binding domain in AvrRxv and demonstrated that a mutant in that domain showed concomitant loss of interaction with ARI1 and HR-inducing activity in tomato. These results demonstrate that the AvrRxv bacterial effector recruits 14-3-3 proteins for its function within host cells. AvrRxv homologues YopP and YopJ from Yersinia do not have AvrRxv-specific HR-inducing activity when delivered into tomato host cells by Agrobacterium. Although YopP itself cannot induce HR, its C-terminal domain containing the catalytic residues can replace that of AvrRxv in an AvrRxv-YopP chimera for HR-inducing activity. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the sequences encoding the C-termini of family members are evolving independently from those encoding the N-termini. Our results support a model in which there are three functional domains in proteins of the family, translocation, interaction, and catalytic.
avirulence protein; yeast two hybrid interaction screen; effector; hypersensitive response (HR); Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria; Yersinia enterocolitica; Solanum esculentum
Glycolate oxidase (GLO) is a key enzyme in photorespiration, catalyzing the oxidation of glycolate to glyoxylate. Arabidopsis GLO is required for nonhost defense responses to Pseudomonas syringae and for tobacco Pto/AvrPto-mediated defense responses. We previously described identification of rice GLO1 that interacts with a glutaredoxin protein, which in turn interacts with TGA transcription factors. TGA transcription factors are well known to participate in NPR1/NH1-mediated defense signaling, which is crucial to systemic acquired resistance in plants. Here we demonstrate that reduction of rice GLO1 expression leads to enhanced resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae (Xoo). Constitutive silencing of GLO1 leads to programmed cell death, resulting in a lesion-mimic phenotype and lethality or reduced plant growth and development, consistent with previous reports. Inducible silencing of GLO1, employing a dexamethasone-GVG (Gal4 DNA binding domain-VP16 activation domain-glucocorticoid receptor fusion) inducible system, alleviates these detrimental effects. Silencing of GLO1 results in enhanced resistance to Xoo, increased expression of defense regulators NH1, NH3, and WRKY45, and activation of PR1 expression.
Photorespiration; Glycolate oxidase; Disease resistance; NH1; NPR1; Glutaredoxin; Hydrogen peroxide; WRKY45
Xylan is the second most abundant polysaccharide on Earth, and represents a major component of both dicot wood and the cell walls of grasses. Much knowledge has been gained from studies of xylan biosynthesis in the model plant, Arabidopsis. In particular, the irregular xylem (irx) mutants, named for their collapsed xylem cells, have been essential in gaining a greater understanding of the genes involved in xylan biosynthesis. In contrast, xylan biosynthesis in grass cell walls is poorly understood. We identified three rice genes Os07g49370 (OsIRX9), Os01g48440 (OsIRX9L), and Os06g47340 (OsIRX14), from glycosyltransferase family 43 as putative orthologs to the putative β-1,4-xylan backbone elongating Arabidopsis
IRX9, IRX9L, and IRX14 genes, respectively. We demonstrate that the over-expression of the closely related rice genes, in full or partly complement the two well-characterized Arabidopsis irregular xylem
(irx) mutants: irx9 and irx14. Complementation was assessed by measuring dwarfed phenotypes, irregular xylem cells in stem cross sections, xylose content of stems, xylosyltransferase (XylT) activity of stems, and stem strength. The expression of OsIRX9 in the irx9 mutant resulted in XylT activity of stems that was over double that of wild type plants, and the stem strength of this line increased to 124% above that of wild type. Taken together, our results suggest that OsIRX9/OsIRX9L, and OsIRX14, have similar functions to the Arabidopsis
IRX9 and IRX14 genes, respectively. Furthermore, our expression data indicate that OsIRX9 and OsIRX9L may function in building the xylan backbone in the secondary and primary cell walls, respectively. Our results provide insight into xylan biosynthesis in rice and how expression of a xylan synthesis gene may be modified to increase stem strength.
xylan; irregular xylan mutants; cell walls; type II cell walls; xylosyltransferase
Glycoside hydrolases (GH) catalyze the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds in cell wall polymers and can have major effects on cell wall architecture. Taking advantage of the massive datasets available in public databases, we have constructed a rice phylogenomic database of GHs (http://ricephylogenomics.ucdavis.edu/cellwalls/gh/). This database integrates multiple data types including the structural features, orthologous relationships, mutant availability, and gene expression patterns for each GH family in a phylogenomic context. The rice genome encodes 437 GH genes classified into 34 families. Based on pairwise comparison with eight dicot and four monocot genomes, we identified 138 GH genes that are highly diverged between monocots and dicots, 57 of which have diverged further in rice as compared with four monocot genomes scanned in this study. Chromosomal localization and expression analysis suggest a role for both whole-genome and localized gene duplications in expansion and diversification of GH families in rice. We examined the meta-profiles of expression patterns of GH genes in twenty different anatomical tissues of rice. Transcripts of 51 genes exhibit tissue or developmental stage-preferential expression, whereas, seventeen other genes preferentially accumulate in actively growing tissues. When queried in RiceNet, a probabilistic functional gene network that facilitates functional gene predictions, nine out of seventeen genes form a regulatory network with the well-characterized genes involved in biosynthesis of cell wall polymers including cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like genes of rice. Two-thirds of the GH genes in rice are up regulated in response to biotic and abiotic stress treatments indicating a role in stress adaptation. Our analyses identify potential GH targets for cell wall modification.
biofuel; cell wall; database; duplication; glycoside hydrolase; RiceNet; stress
Advances in studies of rice innate immunity have led to the identification and characterization of host sensors encoding receptor kinases that perceive conserved microbial signatures. The non-RD domain, a newly recognized hallmark of these receptor kinases is highly expanded in rice (Oryza sativa) compared with Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Researchers have also identified a diverse array of microbial effectors from bacterial and fungal pathogens that triggers immune responses upon perception. These include both, effectors that indirectly target host Nucleotide binding site/Leucine rice repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins and transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors that directly bind promoters of host genes. Here we review the recognition and signaling events that govern rice innate immunity.
Arabidopsis NPR1 is a master regulator of systemic acquired resistance. NPR1 binds to TGA transcription factors and functions as a transcriptional co-activator. In rice, NH1/OsNPR1 functions to enhance innate immunity. NRR disrupts NH1 function, when over-expressed.
We have established a rice transient protoplast assay to demonstrate that NH1 is a transcriptional co-activator and that NRR represses NH1-mediated activation. We identified three NRR homologues (RH1, RH2, and RH3). RH1 and RH3, but not RH2, also effectively repress NH1-mediated transcriptional activation. NRR, RH1, RH2, and RH3 share sequence similarity in a region beyond the previously identified NPR1-interacting domain. This region is required for strong interaction with NH1. A double point mutation, W66A/F70A, in this novel NH1-interacting domain severely reduces interaction with NH1. Mutation W66A/F70A also greatly reduces the ability of NRR to repress NH1-mediated activation. RH2 carries a deviation (amino acids AV) in this region as compared to consensus sequences (amino acids ED) among NRR, RH1, and RH3. A substitution (AV to ED) in RH2 results in strong binding of mutant RH2ED to NH1 and effective repression of NH1-mediated activation.
The protoplast-based transient system can be used to dissect protein domains associated with their functions. Our results demonstrate that the ability of NRR and its homologues to repress NH1-mediated transcriptional activation is tightly correlated with their ability to bind to NH1. Furthermore, a sequence is identified as a novel NH1-interacting domain. Importantly, this novel sequence is widely present in plant species, from cereals to castor bean plants, to poplar trees, to Arabidopsis, indicating its significance in plants.
The rice XA21 pattern recognition receptor binds a type I secreted sulfated peptide, called axYS22, derived from the Ax21 (activator of XA21-mediated immunity) protein. The conservation of Ax21 in all sequenced Xanthomonas spp. and closely related genera suggests that Ax21 serves a key biological function. Here we show that the predicted N-terminal sequence of Ax21 is cleaved prior to secretion outside the cell and that mature Ax21 serves as a quorum sensing (QS) factor in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Ax21-mediated QS controls motility, biofilm formation and virulence. We provide genetic evidence that the Xoo RaxH histidine kinase serves as the bacterial receptor for Ax21. This work establishes a critical role for small protein-mediated QS in a Gram-negative bacterium.
Proteins play major roles in most biological processes; as a consequence, protein expression levels are highly regulated. While extensive post-transcriptional, translational and protein degradation control clearly influence protein concentration and functionality, it is often thought that protein abundances are primarily determined by the abundances of the corresponding mRNAs. Hence surprisingly, a recent study showed that abundances of orthologous nematode and fly proteins correlate better than their corresponding mRNA abundances. We tested if this phenomenon is general by collecting and testing matching large-scale protein and mRNA expression datasets from seven different species: two bacteria, yeast, nematode, fly, human, and plant. We find that steady-state abundances of proteins show significantly higher correlation across these diverse phylogenetic taxa than the abundances of their corresponding mRNAs (p=0.0008, paired Wilcoxon). These data support the presence of strong selective pressure to maintain protein abundances during evolution, even when mRNA abundances diverge.
Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) activates the innate immune response. The rice PRR, XA21, confers robust resistance at adult stages to most strains of the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). Seedlings are still easily infected by Xoo, causing severe yield losses. Here we report that Xa21 is induced by Xoo infection and that ectopic expression of Xa21 confers resistance at three leaf stage (three-week-old), overcoming the developmental limitation of XA21-mediated resistance. Ectopic expression of Xa21 also up-regulates a larger set of defense-related genes as compared to Xa21 driven by the native promoter. These results indicate that altered regulation of Xa21 expression is useful for developing enhanced resistance to Xoo at multiple developmental stages.
Oryza sativa; pathogen-associated molecular pattern; pattern recognition receptor; XA21; Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
We outline a high throughput procedure that improves outlier detection in cell wall screens using FT-NIR spectroscopy of plant leaves. The improvement relies on generating a calibration set from a subset of a mutant population by taking advantage of the Mahalanobis distance outlier scheme to construct a monosaccharide range predictive model using PLS regression. This model was then used to identify specific monosaccharide outliers from the mutant population.
near infrared spectroscopy; cell wall; hemicellulose; multivariate analysis; mutant screen; pls modeling
In the early 1970s, the Xa21 gene from the wild rice species Oryza longistaminata, drew attention of rice breeders because of its broad-spectrum resistance to diverse strains of a serious bacterial disease of rice in Asia and Africa, called bacterial blight disease, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). In 1995, we isolated the gene controlling this resistance and in 2009 demonstrated that XA21 recognizes a highly conserved peptide, called Ax21 (activator of XA21-mediated immunity). Tyrosine sulfation of Ax21 is required for recognition by rice XA21. A decade of genetic, molecular, and biochemical studies have uncovered key components of the XA21-mediated signaling cascade. Ax21 recognition by XA21 at the cell surface induces phosphorylation–mediated events, which are predicted to alter subcellular localization and/or DNA-binding activity of a WRKY family of transcription factors. Because XA21 is representative of the large number of predicted pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in rice (328), Arabidopsis (35) and other plant species, further characterization of XA21-mediated signaling pathways will contribute to elucidation of these important defense responses.
WRKY transcription factors regulate diverse plant processes including responses to biotic stresses. Our previous studies indicate that OsWRKY62, an OsWRKY IIa subfamily member, functions as a negative regulator of the rice defense against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Here, we report that a large inverted repeat construct designed to knock down the expression of the four OsWRKY IIa subfamily members (OsWRKY62, OsWRKY28, OsWRKY71, and OsWRKY76) leads to overexpression of all four genes and disease resistance in some transgenic plants. These phenotypes are stably inherited as reflected by progeny analysis. A pathogenesis-related gene, PR10, is up-regulated in plants overexpressing the OsWRKY IIa genes. These results suggest that OsWRKY IIa proteins interact functionally to modulate plant innate immunity.
Rice; OsWRKY IIa; Xoo; Innate immunity
Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) activates the innate immune response. Although PRR-mediated signaling events are critical to the survival of plants and animals, secretion and localization of PRRs have not yet been clearly elucidated. Here we report the in vivo interaction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone BiP3 with the rice XA21 PRR, which confers resistance to the Gram negative bacterium, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). We show that XA21 is glycosylated and is primarily localized to the ER and also to the plasma membrane (PM). In BiP3-overexpressing rice plants, XA21-mediated immunity is compromised, XA21 stability is significantly decreased, and XA21 proteolytic cleavage is inhibited. BiP3 overexpression does not affect the general rice defense response, cell death or brassinolide-induced responses. These results indicate that BiP3 regulates XA21 protein stability and processing and that this regulation is critical for resistance to Xoo.
Few microarrays have been quantitatively calibrated to identify optimal hybridization conditions because it is difficult to precisely determine the hybridization characteristics of a microarray using biologically variable cDNA samples.
Using synthesized samples with known concentrations of specific oligonucleotides, a series of microarray experiments was conducted to evaluate microarrays designed by PICKY, an oligo microarray design software tool, and to test a direct microarray calibration method based on the PICKY-predicted, thermodynamically closest nontarget information. The complete set of microarray experiment results is archived in the GEO database with series accession number GSE14717. Additional data files and Perl programs described in this paper can be obtained from the website under the PICKY Download area.
PICKY-designed microarray probes are highly reliable over a wide range of hybridization temperatures and sample concentrations. The microarray calibration method reported here allows researchers to experimentally optimize their hybridization conditions. Because this method is straightforward, uses existing microarrays and relatively inexpensive synthesized samples, it can be used by any lab that uses microarrays designed by PICKY. In addition, other microarrays can be reanalyzed by PICKY to obtain the thermodynamically closest nontarget information for calibration.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent of bacterial blight disease, is a serious pathogen of rice. Here we describe a fluorescent marker system to study virulence and pathogenicity of X. oryzae pv. oryzae.
A fluorescent X. oryzae pv. oryzae Philippine race 6 strain expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) (PXO99GFP) was generated using the gfp gene under the control of the neomycin promoter in the vector, pPneo-gfp. The PXO99GFPstrain displayed identical virulence and avirulence properties as the wild type control strain, PXO99. Using fluorescent microscopy, bacterial multiplication and colonization were directly observed in rice xylem vessels. Accurate and rapid determination of bacterial growth was assessed using fluoremetry and an Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA).
Our results indicate that the fluorescent marker system is useful for assessing bacterial infection and monitoring bacterial multiplication in planta.
Perception of extracellular signals by cell surface receptors is of central importance to eukaryotic development and immunity. Kinases that are associated with the receptors or are part of the receptors themselves modulate signaling through phosphorylation events. The rice (Oryza sativa L.) XA21 receptor kinase is a key recognition and signaling determinant in the innate immune response. A yeast two-hybrid screen using the intracellular portion of XA21, including the juxtamembrane (JM) and kinase domain as bait, identified a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C), called XA21 binding protein 15 (XB15). The interaction of XA21 and XB15 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by glutathione-S-transferase (GST) pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays, respectively. XB15 fusion proteins purified from Escherichia coli and from transgenic rice carry PP2C activity. Autophosphorylated XA21 can be dephosphorylated by XB15 in a temporal- and dosage-dependent manner. A serine residue in the XA21 JM domain is required for XB15 binding. Xb15 mutants display a severe cell death phenotype, induction of pathogenesis-related genes, and enhanced XA21-mediated resistance. Overexpression of Xb15 in an XA21 rice line compromises resistance to the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. These results demonstrate that Xb15 encodes a PP2C that negatively regulates the XA21-mediated innate immune response.
Resistance to pathogens is critical to plant and animal survival. Plants, unlike animals, lack an adaptive immune system and instead rely on the innate immune response to protect against infection. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of plant innate immunity, we are studying the signaling cascade mediated by the rice pathogen recognition receptor kinase XA21, which confers resistance to the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. We demonstrate that XA21 binding protein 15 (a protein phosphatase 2C) negatively regulates XA21-mediated signaling resistance. This finding provides significant insight into regulation of receptor kinase-mediated immunity.
The rice protein phosphatase 2C XB15 is a negative regulator of pathogen recognition receptor kinase-mediated cell death and innate immunity.
Transient assays using protoplasts are ideal for processing large quantities of genetic data coming out of hi-throughput assays. Previously, protoplasts have routinely been prepared from dicot tissue or cell suspension cultures and yet a good system for rice protoplast isolation and manipulation is lacking.
We have established a rice seedling protoplast system designed for the rapid characterization of large numbers of genes. We report optimized methods for protoplast isolation from 7–14 day old etiolated rice seedlings. We show that the reporter genes luciferase GL2 and GUS are maximally expressed approximately 20 h after polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated transformation into protoplasts. In addition we found that transformation efficiency varied significantly with plasmid size. Five micrograms of a 4.5 kb plasmid resulted in 60–70% transformation efficiency. In contrast, using 50 μg of a 12 kb plasmid we obtained a maximum of 25–30% efficiency. We also show that short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be used to silence exogenous genes quickly and efficiently. An siRNA targeting luciferase resulted in a significant level of silencing after only 3 hours and up to an 83% decrease in expression. We have also isolated protoplasts from cells prepared from fully green tissue. These green tissue-derived protoplasts can be transformed to express high levels of luciferase activity and should be useful for assaying light sensitive cellular processes.
We report a system for isolation, transformation and gene silencing of etiolated rice leaf and stem-derived protoplasts. Additionally, we have extended the technology to protoplasts isolated from fully green tissue. The protoplast system will bridge the gap between hi-throughput assays and functional biology as it can be used to quickly study large number of genes for which the function is unknown.
Plants and animals carry specific receptors that recognize invading pathogens and respond by activating an immune response. The rice XA21 receptor confers broad-spectrum immunity to the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae upon recognition of a small protein, Ax21, that is conserved in all Xanthomonas species and related genera. Here we demonstrate that XA21 is cleaved to release the intracellular kinase domain and that this intracellular domain carries a functional nuclear localization sequence. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays indicate that the XA21 intracellular domain interacts with the OsWRKY62 transcriptional regulator exclusively in the nucleus of rice protoplasts. In vivo cleavage of XA21 and translocalization of the intracellular kinase domain to the nucleus is required for the XA21-mediated immune response. These results suggest a new model for immune receptor function: on receptor recognition of conserved microbial signatures, the associated kinase translocates to the nucleus where it directly interacts with transcriptional regulators.
The rice pattern recognition receptor—XA21—confers immunity against the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. This study shows that the intracellular kinase domain of XA21 translocates to the nucleus and that this translocation is essential for the XA21-mediated immune response.
The perennial grass, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), is a promising bioenergy crop and the target of whole genome sequencing. We constructed two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from the AP13 clone of switchgrass to gain insight into the genome structure and organization, initiate functional and comparative genomic studies, and assist with genome assembly. Together representing 16 haploid genome equivalents of switchgrass, each library comprises 101,376 clones with average insert sizes of 144 (HindIII-generated) and 110 kb (BstYI-generated). A total of 330,297 high quality BAC-end sequences (BES) were generated, accounting for 263.2 Mbp (16.4%) of the switchgrass genome. Analysis of the BES identified 279,099 known repetitive elements, >50,000 SSRs, and 2,528 novel repeat elements, named switchgrass repetitive elements (SREs). Comparative mapping of 47 full-length BAC sequences and 330K BES revealed high levels of synteny with the grass genomes sorghum, rice, maize, and Brachypodium. Our data indicate that the sorghum genome has retained larger microsyntenous regions with switchgrass besides high gene order conservation with rice. The resources generated in this effort will be useful for a broad range of applications.
Xanthomonas is a large genus of bacteria that collectively cause disease on more than 300 plant species. The broad host range of the genus contrasts with stringent host and tissue specificity for individual species and pathovars. Whole-genome sequences of Xanthomonas campestris pv. raphani strain 756C and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola strain BLS256, pathogens that infect the mesophyll tissue of the leading models for plant biology, Arabidopsis thaliana and rice, respectively, were determined and provided insight into the genetic determinants of host and tissue specificity. Comparisons were made with genomes of closely related strains that infect the vascular tissue of the same hosts and across a larger collection of complete Xanthomonas genomes. The results suggest a model in which complex sets of adaptations at the level of gene content account for host specificity and subtler adaptations at the level of amino acid or noncoding regulatory nucleotide sequence determine tissue specificity.