Mar 29, 2020

Secreted TAL effectors protect symbiotic bacteria from entrapment within fungal hyphae

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
I. RichterChristian Hertweck


The association of the agriculturally significant phytopathogenic fungus Rhizopus microsporus with the bacterial endosymbiont Burkholderia rhizoxinica is a remarkable example of bacteria controlling host physiology and reproduction. Here, we show that a group of transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) called Burkholderia TALE-like proteins (BATs) from B. rhizoxinica are essential for the establishment of the symbiosis. Mutants lacking BAT proteins are unable to induce host sporulation. Utilising novel microfluidic devices in combination with fluorescence microscopy we observed the accumulation of BAT-deficient mutants in specific fungal side-hyphae with accompanying increased fungal re-infection. High-resolution live imaging revealed septa biogenesis at the base of infected hyphae leading to compartmental trapping of BAT-deficient endobacteria. Trapped endosymbionts showed reduced intracellular survival, suggesting a protective response from the fungal host against bacteria lacking specific effectors. These findings underscore the involvement of BAT proteins in maintaining a balance between mutualism and antagonism in bacterial-fungal interactions and provide deeper insights into the dynamic interactions between bacteria...Continue Reading

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