From the Abstract: We generated a genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network of R. solanacearum, together with a macromolecule network module accounting for the production and secretion of hundreds of virulence determinants. By a combination of constraint-based modeling and metabolic flux analyses, we quantified the metabolic cost for production of virulence factors. We demonstrated that a trade-off between virulence factor production and bacterial proliferation is controlled by the quorum-sensing-dependent regulatory protein PhcA. A phcA mutant is avirulent but has a better growth rate than the wild-type strain. Moreover, a phcA mutant has an expanded metabolic versatility, being able to metabolize 17 substrates more than the wild-type. Model predictions indicate that metabolic pathways are optimally oriented towards proliferation in a phcA mutant and we show that this enhanced metabolic versatility in phcA mutants is to a large extent a consequence of not paying the cost for virulence. This analysis allowed identifying candidate metabolic substrates having a substantial impact on bacterial growth during infection. These findings provide an explanatory basis to the emergence of avirulent variants in R. solanacearum populations in planta or in stressful environments.
** Lab member paper**: “A Resource Allocation Trade-Off between Virulence and Proliferation Drives Metabolic Versatility in the Plant Pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum” is published in Plos Pathogens by Remi Peyraud et al. This is a part of Remi’s work while he was a post-doc in Stephane Genin’s lab that he finished up while in our group.
** Lab member paper **: “Clathrin-dependent endocytosis is required for immunity mediated by pattern recognition receptor kinases” is published in PNAS by Malick et al. This was Malick’s main piece of work from his first post-doc at the Sainsbury Lab, Norwich.
The article describing genome analysis and genetic transformation of Drechmeria coniospora, a fungal pathogen of nematodes, is online (http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006017).
We contributed to the secretome analysis in this project developed by the group of Jonathan Ewbank from the University of Marseille.
Our ‘Nine trends’ collective minireview is online (http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2016.00422/full). We review recent research supporting the importance of nine themes (Plant RLPs, small RNAs, Abscisic acid,…) in the molecular interactions between the broad host range fungi Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and their host plants.