The effects of variation in T6SS and bacteria on competition in host environment

September 17, 2019

A group of scientists studying the ways plant-associated bacteria interact were surprised to find that strains predicted to be more sensitive to bacteria were able to coexist with aggressor strains.

"Our findings are not consistent with a 'winner-take-all' result," says Jeff Chang, a scientist based at Oregon State University, " and may cause researchers to think differently about bacterial behaviors that are generally assumed to be hostile and open new directions to pursue on the role of microbe-microbe interactions in plant-microbe interactions."

This work is an international joint effort between Academia Sinica (Erh-Min Lai and Chih-Horng Kuo) and Oregon State University (Jeff Chang) led by 1st author Chih-Feng Wu. They used members of plant pathogenic Agrobacterium tumefaciens to examine how a type VI secretion system (T6SS), which is common among bacteria and used to deliver toxins into competing bacteria, affects competition between plant-associated bacteria. They competed different strains of these pathogens against each other to determine if aggressor strains could outcompete strains predicted to be sensitive to T6SS attack.

As stated above, the results were varied--sometimes the researchers were able to measure a significant decrease in the growth of sensitive strains. In other instances, sensitive strains were able to coexist with aggressor strains.

"These findings were consistent with computational simulations that suggested parameters, such as the number of bacteria and how they are structured in an environment, which affect the probability in which two competing strains are physically interacting, can impact the aggressiveness of bacteria," Chang explains. "Our findings additionally suggest that the genetics of the competing strains and also the environment in which they are competing can also impact aggressiveness."

Since T6SS is present in ~25% bacterial genomes sequenced to date, this work provides a foundation for future study in identifying genetic factors beyond T6SS anti-bacterial weapons in determining the competition outcomes.
-end-
For additional details, read <"Plant-Pathogenic Agrobacterium tumefaciens Strains Have Diverse Type VI Effector-Immunity Pairs and Vary in In-Planta Competitiveness" published in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions in August 2019.

American Phytopathological Society

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.