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Mori Y.,Laboratory of Plant Pathology and BiotechnologyKochi UniversityNankoku | Inoue K.,Osaka UniversityMihogaokaIbaraki | Higashimoto C.,Laboratory of Plant Pathology and BiotechnologyKochi UniversityNankoku | Ohnishi K.,Kochi UniversityNankoku | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Plant Pathology | Year: 2016

The mechanism of colonization of intercellular spaces by the soil-borne and vascular plant-pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum strain OE1-1 after invasion into host plants remains unclear. To analyse the behaviour of OE1-1 cells in intercellular spaces, tomato leaves with the lower epidermis layers excised after infiltration with OE1-1 were observed under a scanning electron microscope. OE1-1 cells formed microcolonies on the surfaces of tomato cells adjacent to intercellular spaces, and then aggregated surrounded by an extracellular matrix, forming mature biofilm structures. Furthermore, OE1-1 cells produced mushroom-type biofilms when incubated in fluids of apoplasts including intercellular spaces, but not xylem fluids from tomato plants. This is the first report of biofilm formation by R. solanacearum on host plant cells after invasion into intercellular spaces and mushroom-type biofilms produced by R. solanacearum in vitro. Sugar application led to enhanced biofilm formation by OE1-1. Mutation of lecM encoding a lectin, RS-IIL, which reportedly exhibits affinity for these sugars, led to a significant decrease in biofilm formation. Colonization in intercellular spaces was significantly decreased in the lecM mutant, leading to a loss of virulence on tomato plants. Complementation of the lecM mutant with native lecM resulted in the recovery of mushroom-type biofilms and virulence on tomato plants. Together, our findings indicate that OE1-1 produces mature biofilms on the surfaces of tomato cells after invasion into intercellular spaces. RS-IIL may contribute to biofilm formation by OE1-1, which is required for OE1-1 virulence. © 2015 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

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