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Pyoverdine-Mediated Killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by Pseudomonas syringae MB03 and the Role of Iron in Its Pathogenicity

1
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
2
Department of Biotechnology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062198
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 19 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 22 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
The pathogenicity of the common phytopathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae toward Caenorhabditis elegans has been recently demonstrated. However, the major virulence factors involved in this interaction remain unknown. In this study, we investigated the nematocidal activity of P. syringae against C. elegans under iron-sufficient/limited conditions, primarily focusing on the role of the ferric chelator pyoverdine in a P. syringaeC. elegans liquid-based pathogenicity model. Prediction-based analysis of pyoverdine-encoding genes in the genome of the wild-type P. syringae strain MB03 revealed that the genes are located in one large cluster. Two non-ribosomal peptide synthetase genes (pvdD and pvdJ) were disrupted via a Rec/TE recombination system, resulting in mutant strains with abrogated pyoverdine production and attenuated virulence against C. elegans. When used alone, pure pyoverdine also showed nematocidal activity. The role of iron used alone or with pyoverdine was further investigated in mutant and MB03-based bioassays. The results indicated that pyoverdine in P. syringae MB03 is a robust virulence factor that promotes the killing of C. elegans. We speculate that pyoverdine functions as a virulence determinant by capturing environmentally available iron for host bacterial cells, by limiting its availability for C. elegans worms, and by regulating and/or activating other intracellular virulence factors that ultimately kills C. elegans worms. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyoverdine; iron; Pseudomonas syringae; Caenorhabditis elegans; pathogenicity; liquid killing assay pyoverdine; iron; Pseudomonas syringae; Caenorhabditis elegans; pathogenicity; liquid killing assay
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Bashir, A.; Tian, T.; Yu, X.; Meng, C.; Ali, M.; Li, L. Pyoverdine-Mediated Killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by Pseudomonas syringae MB03 and the Role of Iron in Its Pathogenicity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2198.

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