A secreted chorismate mutase from xanthomonas arboricola pv. Juglandis attenuates virulence and walnut blight symp-toms

Renata de A.B. Assis, Cíntia H.D. Sagawa, Paulo A. Zaini, Houston J. Saxe, Phillip A. Wilmarth, Brett S. Phinney, Michelle Salemi, Leandro M. Moreira, Abhaya M. Dandekar

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2 Scopus citations


Walnut blight is a significant above-ground disease of walnuts caused by Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis (Xaj). The secreted form of chorismate mutase (CM), a key enzyme of the shikimate pathway regulating plant immunity, is highly conserved between plant-associated beta and gamma proteobacteria including phytopathogens belonging to the Xanthomonadaceae family. To define its role in walnut blight disease, a dysfunctional mutant of chorismate mutase was created in a copper resistant strain Xaj417 (XajCM). Infections of immature walnut Juglans regia (Jr) fruit with XajCM were hypervirulent compared with infections with the wildtype Xaj417 strain. The in vitro growth rate, size and cellular morphology were similar between the wild-type and XajCM mutant strains, however the quantification of bacterial cells by dPCR within walnut hull tissues showed a 27% increase in XajCM seven days post-infection. To define the mechanism of hypervir-ulence, proteome analysis was conducted to compare walnut hull tissues inoculated with the wild type to those inoculated with the XajCM mutant strain. Proteome analysis revealed 3296 Jr proteins (five decreased and ten increased with FDR ≤ 0.05) and 676 Xaj417 proteins (235 increased in XajCM with FDR ≤ 0.05). Interestingly, the most abundant protein in Xaj was a polygalacturonase, while in Jr it was a polygalacturonase inhibitor. These results suggest that this secreted chorismate mutase may be an important virulence suppressor gene that regulates Xaj417 virulence response, allowing for improved bacterial survival in the plant tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10374
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Hypervirulence
  • Juglans regia
  • Pro-teome
  • Secreted chorismate mutase
  • TMT-plex
  • Walnut blight
  • Xanthomonas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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