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Data from: Genome-wide sensitivity analysis of the microsymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to symbiotically important, defensin-like host peptides

Citation

Arnold, Markus F. F. et al. (2018), Data from: Genome-wide sensitivity analysis of the microsymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to symbiotically important, defensin-like host peptides, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.32152

Abstract

The model legume species Medicago truncatula expresses more than 700 nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR) signaling peptides that mediate the differentiation of Sinorhizobium meliloti bacteria into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. NCR peptides are essential for a successful symbiosis in legume plants of the inverted-repeat-lacking clade (IRLC) and show similarity to mammalian defensins. In addition to signaling functions, many NCR peptides exhibit antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo. Bacterial resistance to these antimicrobial activities is likely to be important for symbiosis. However, the mechanisms used by S. meliloti to resist antimicrobial activity of plant peptides are poorly understood. To address this, we applied a global genetic approach using transposon mutagenesis followed by high-throughput sequencing (Tn-seq) to identify S. meliloti genes and pathways that increase or decrease bacterial competitiveness during exposure to the well-studied cationic NCR247 peptide and also to the unrelated model antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B. We identified 78 genes and several diverse pathways whose interruption alters S. meliloti resistance to NCR247. These genes encode the following: (i) cell envelope polysaccharide biosynthesis and modification proteins, (ii) inner and outer membrane proteins, (iii) peptidoglycan (PG) effector proteins, and (iv) non-membrane-associated factors such as transcriptional regulators and ribosome-associated factors. We describe a previously uncharacterized yet highly conserved peptidase, which protects S. meliloti from NCR247 and increases competitiveness during symbiosis. Additionally, we highlight a considerable number of uncharacterized genes that provide the basis for future studies to investigate the molecular basis of symbiotic development as well as chronic pathogenic interactions.

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Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1054980