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Toxins 2019, 11(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040206

Survey of Toxin–Antitoxin Systems in Erwinia amylovora Reveals Insights into Diversity and Functional Specificity

Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
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Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems)
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Abstract

Toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are diverse genetic modules with demonstrated roles in plasmid stability, stress management, biofilm formation and antibiotic persistence. However, relatively little is known about their functional significance in plant pathogens. In this study we characterize type II and IV TA systems in the economically important plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora. Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and BLAST-based programs were used to predict the identity and distribution of putative TA systems among sequenced genomes of E. amylovora and other plant-associated Erwinia spp. Of six conserved TA systems tested for function from E. amylovora, three (CbtA/CbeA, ParE/RHH and Doc/PhD) were validated as functional. CbtA was toxic to E. amylovora, but not to Escherichia coli. While the E. coli homolog of CbtA elicits the formation of lemon-shaped cells upon overexpression and targets cytoskeletal proteins FtsZ and MreB, E. amylovora CbtA led to cell elongation and did not interact with these cytoskeletal proteins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that E. amylovora CbtA belongs to a distinct clade from the CbtA of pathogenic E. coli. This study expands the repertoire of experimentally validated TA systems in plant pathogenic bacteria, and suggests that the E. amylovora homolog of CbtA is functionally distinct from that of E. coli. View Full-Text
Keywords: toxin–antitoxin system; Erwinia amylovora; YeeV; CbtA; ParE; Doc; cell elongation toxin–antitoxin system; Erwinia amylovora; YeeV; CbtA; ParE; Doc; cell elongation
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Shidore, T.; Zeng, Q.; Triplett, L.R. Survey of Toxin–Antitoxin Systems in Erwinia amylovora Reveals Insights into Diversity and Functional Specificity. Toxins 2019, 11, 206.

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