The MqsRA Toxin-Antitoxin System from Xylella fastidiosa Plays a Key Role in Bacterial Fitness, Pathogenicity, and Persister Cell Formation

Frontiers in Microbiology
Marcus V MerfaAlessandra A de Souza

Abstract

Through the formation of persister cells, bacteria exhibit tolerance to multidrug and other environmental stresses without undergoing genetic changes. The toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are involved in the formation of persister cells because they are able to induce cell dormancy. Among the TA systems, the MqsRA system has been observed to be highly induced in persister cells of Xylella fastidiosa (causal agent of citrus variegated chlorosis-CVC) activated by copper stress, and has been described in Escherichia coli as related to the formation of persister cells and biofilms. Thus, we evaluated the role of this TA system in X. fastidiosa by overexpressing the MqsR toxin, and verified that the toxin positively regulated biofilm formation and negatively cell movement, resulting in reduced pathogenicity in citrus plants. The overexpression of MqsR also increased the formation of persister cells under copper stress. Analysis of the gene and protein expression showed that this system likely has an autoregulation mechanism to express the toxin and antitoxin in the most beneficial ratio for the cell to oppose stress. Our results suggest that this TA system plays a key role in the adaptation and survival of X. fastidiosa and reveal new i...Continue Reading

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Citations

Oct 16, 2016·Genome Announcements·Barbara NizaAlessandra A de Souza
Jan 14, 2017·Frontiers in Microbiology·Juliano S MendesA A de Souza
Jun 12, 2018·Frontiers in Microbiology·Paula M M MartinsAlessandra A de Souza
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Mar 27, 2021·Microbial Biotechnology·Thomas K Wood

Methods Mentioned

BETA
PCR
electrophoresis
fluorescence microscopy
Protein Assay

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