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Leaf nodule endosymbiotic Burkholderia confer targeted allelopathy to their Psychotria hosts


Georgiou, Antri; Sieber, Simon; Hsiao, Chien-Chi; Grayfer, Tatyana; Gorenflos López, Jacob L; Gademann, Karl; Eberl, Leo; Bailly, Aurélien (2021). Leaf nodule endosymbiotic Burkholderia confer targeted allelopathy to their Psychotria hosts. Scientific Reports, 11:22465.

Abstract

After a century of investigations, the function of the obligate betaproteobacterial endosymbionts accommodated in leaf nodules of tropical Rubiaceae remained enigmatic. We report that the α-d-glucose analogue (+)-streptol, systemically supplied by mature Ca.Burkholderia kirkii nodules to their Psychotria hosts, exhibits potent and selective root growth inhibiting activity. We provide compelling evidence that (+)-streptol specifically affects meristematic root cells transitioning to anisotropic elongation by disrupting cell wall organization in a mechanism of action that is distinct from canonical cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors. We observed no inhibitory or cytotoxic effects on organisms other than seed plants, further suggesting (+)-streptol as a bona fide allelochemical. We propose that the suppression of growth of plant competitors is a major driver of the formation and maintenance of the Psychotria–Burkholderia association. In addition to potential agricultural applications as a herbicidal agent, (+)-streptol might also prove useful to dissect plant cell and organ growth processes.

Abstract

After a century of investigations, the function of the obligate betaproteobacterial endosymbionts accommodated in leaf nodules of tropical Rubiaceae remained enigmatic. We report that the α-d-glucose analogue (+)-streptol, systemically supplied by mature Ca.Burkholderia kirkii nodules to their Psychotria hosts, exhibits potent and selective root growth inhibiting activity. We provide compelling evidence that (+)-streptol specifically affects meristematic root cells transitioning to anisotropic elongation by disrupting cell wall organization in a mechanism of action that is distinct from canonical cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors. We observed no inhibitory or cytotoxic effects on organisms other than seed plants, further suggesting (+)-streptol as a bona fide allelochemical. We propose that the suppression of growth of plant competitors is a major driver of the formation and maintenance of the Psychotria–Burkholderia association. In addition to potential agricultural applications as a herbicidal agent, (+)-streptol might also prove useful to dissect plant cell and organ growth processes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:07 Jan 2022 12:15
Last Modified:01 Feb 2022 22:48
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-01867-2
PubMed ID:34789815
Project Information:
  • : FunderDr. Helmut Legerlotz Foundation
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)