Quantitative proteomic analysis of the Salmonella-lettuce interaction


  • Funding Information This research project was supported by the USDA NIFA program under the project number 2011–67019-20052 and by the UNL Interdisciplinary Research Grant. The mass spectrometry analysis was done at the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core facility, Redox Biology Center, UNL supported by the NIH (P30GM103335).


Human pathogens can internalize food crops through root and surface uptake and persist inside crop plants. The goal of the study was to elucidate the global modulation of bacteria and plant protein expression after Salmonella internalizes lettuce. A quantitative proteomic approach was used to analyse the protein expression of Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis and lettuce cultivar Green Salad Bowl 24 h after infiltrating S. Infantis into lettuce leaves. Among the 50 differentially expressed proteins identified by comparing internalized S. Infantis against S. Infantis grown in Luria Broth, proteins involved in glycolysis were down-regulated, while one protein involved in ascorbate uptake was up-regulated. Stress response proteins, especially antioxidant proteins, were up-regulated. The modulation in protein expression suggested that internalized S. Infantis might utilize ascorbate as a carbon source and require multiple stress response proteins to cope with stresses encountered in plants. On the other hand, among the 20 differentially expressed lettuce proteins, proteins involved in defense response to bacteria were up-regulated. Moreover, the secreted effector PipB2 of S. Infantis and R proteins of lettuce were induced after bacterial internalization into lettuce leaves, indicating human pathogen S. Infantis triggered the defense mechanisms of lettuce, which normally responds to plant pathogens.