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Multiple toxins and a protease contribute to the aphid killing ability of Pseudomonas fluorescens PpR24

Paliwal, D. ORCID:, Rabiey, M., Mauchline, T. H., Hassani-Pak, K., Nauen, R., Wagstaff, C. ORCID:, Andrews, S. ORCID:, Bass, C. and Jackson, R. W. (2024) Multiple toxins and a protease contribute to the aphid killing ability of Pseudomonas fluorescens PpR24. Environmental Microbiology, 26 (4). e16604. ISSN 1462-2920

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.16604


Aphids are globally important pests causing damage to a broad range of crops. Due to insecticides-resistance, there is an urgent need to develop alternative control strategies. In our previous work, we found Pseudomonas fluorescens PpR24 can orally infect and kill the insecticide-resistant green-peach aphid (Myzus persicae). However, the genetic basis of the insecticidal capability of PpR24 remains unclear. Genome sequencing of PpR24 confirmed the presence of various insecticidal toxins such as Tc (toxin complexes), Rhs (rearrangement hotspot) elements and other proteases implicated in insect killing. Upon infection of aphids with PpR24, RNA-Seq analysis revealed 193 aphid genes were differentially expressed with down-regulation of 16 detoxification genes. In addition, 1325 PpR24 genes (542 were upregulated and 783 down regulated) were subject to differential expression, including genes responsible for secondary metabolite biosynthesis, the iron-restriction response, oxidative stress resistance and virulence factors. Single and double deletion of candidate virulence genes encoding a secreted protease (AprX) and four toxin components (two TcA-like; one TcB-like; one TcC-like insecticidal toxins) showed that all five genes contribute significantly to aphid killing, particularly AprX. This comprehensive host-pathogen transcriptomic analysis provides novel insight into the molecular basis of bacteria-mediated aphid mortality and the potential of PpR24 as an effective biocontrol agent.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:115559
Uncontrolled Keywords:Toxins, aphid, Pseudomonas, biocontrol, crop


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