Erwinia chrysanthemi tolC is involved in resistance to antimicrobial plant chemicals and is essential for phytopathogenesis

Ravi D. Barabote, Oswald L. Johnson, Eric Zetina, Susan K. San Francisco, Joe A. Fralick, Michael J.D. San Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

TolC is the outer-membrane component of several multidrug resistance (MDR) efflux pumps and plays an important role in the survival and virulence of many gram-negative bacterial animal pathogens. We have identified and characterized the outer-membrane protein-encoding gene tolC in the bacterial plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi EC16. The gene was found to encode a 51-kDa protein with 70% identity to its Escherichia coli homologue. The E. chrysanthemi gene was able to functionally complement the E. coli tolC gene with respect to its role in MDR efflux pumps. A tolC mutant of E. chrysanthemi was found to be extremely sensitive to antimicrobial agents, including several plant-derived chemicals. This mutant was unable to grow in planta and its ability to cause plant tissue maceration was severely compromised. The tolC mutant was shown to be defective in the efflux of berberine, a model antimicrobial plant chemical. These results suggest that by conferring resistance to the antimicrobial compounds produced by plants, the E. chrysanthemi tolC plays an important role in the survival and colonization of the pathogen in plant tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5772-5778
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Volume185
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

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