Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipo- polysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabi- dopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection.
- innate immunity
- pattern recognition receptors
- lipid A
- galleria mellonella