NIT24 and NIT29-mediated IAA synthesis of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola suppresses immunity and boosts growth in rice
Published:21 Mar.2024    Source:Molecular Plant Pathology

Auxin plays a pivotal role in the co-evolution of plants and microorganisms. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) stands as a significant factor that affects rice yield and quality. However, the current understanding of Xoc's capability for indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) synthesis and its mechanistic implications remains elusive. In this study, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of Xoc strain RS105, leading to the identification of two nitrilase enzyme family (NIT) genes, designated as AKO15524.1 and AKO15829.1, subsequently named NIT24 and NIT29, respectively.

Our investigation unveiled that the deletion of NIT24 and NIT29 resulted in a notable reduction in IAA synthesis capacity within RS105, thereby impacting extracellular polysaccharide production. This deficiency was partially ameliorated through exogenous IAA supplementation. The study further substantiated that NIT24 and NIT29 have nitrilase activity and the ability to catalyse IAA production in vitro. The lesion length and bacterial population statistics experiments confirmed that NIT24 and NIT29 positively regulated the pathogenicity of RS105, suggesting that NIT24 and NIT29 may regulate Xoc invasion by affecting IAA synthesis. Furthermore, our analysis corroborated mutant strains, RS105_ΔNIT24 and RS105_ΔNIT29, which elicited the outbreak of reactive oxygen species, the deposition of callose and the upregulation of defence-related gene expression in rice. IAA exerted a significant dampening effect on the immune responses incited by these mutant strains in rice.
In addition, the absence of NIT24 and NIT29 affected the growth-promoting effect of Xoc on rice. This implies that Xoc may promote rice growth by secreting IAA, thus providing a more suitable microenvironment for its own colonization. In summary, our study provides compelling evidence for the existence of a nitrilase-dependent IAA biosynthesis pathway in Xoc. IAA synthesis-related genes promote Xoc colonization by inhibiting rice immune defence response and affecting rice growth by increasing IAA content in Xoc.