Promoter elements of rice susceptibility genes are bound and activated by specific TAL effectors from the bacterial blight pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
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- •Plant pathogenic bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas inject transcription activator-like effector (TALe) proteins that bind to and activate host promoters, thereby promoting disease or inducing plant defense. TALes bind to corresponding UPT (up-regulated by TALe) promoter boxes via tandemly arranged 34/35-amino acid repeats. Recent studies uncovered the TALe code in which two amino acid residues of each repeat define specific pairing to UPT boxes.
- •Here we employed the TALe code to predict potential UPT boxes in TALe-induced host promoters and analyzed these via β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA).
- •We demonstrate that the Xa13, OsTFX1 and Os11N3 promoters from rice are induced directly by the Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae TALes PthXo1, PthXo6 and AvrXa7, respectively. We identified and functionally validated a UPT box in the corresponding rice target promoter for each TALe and show that box mutations suppress TALe-mediated promoter activation. Finally, EMSA demonstrate that code-predicted UPT boxes interact specifically with corresponding TALes.
- •Our findings show that variations in the UPT boxes of different rice accessions correlate with susceptibility or resistance of these accessions to the bacterial blight pathogen.