Background: Hfq is a widely conserved bacterial RNA-binding protein which generally mediates the global regulatory activities involv ed in physiological process and virulence. The goal of this study was to characterize the biological function of hfq gene in Xanthomonas axonpodis pv. citri (Xac), the causal agent of citrus canker disease. Results: An hfq mutant in Xac was generated by plasmid integration. The loss of hfq resulted in attenuation of bacterial growth, motility and biofilm formation. In addition, the hfq mutation impaired Xac resistance to H2O2 and both high and low pH environments, but did not affect the virulence to citrus. RNA-Seq analyses indicated that Hfq played roles in regulating the expression of 746 genes. In hfq mutant, gene expression related to chemotaxis, secretion system, two-component system, quorum sensing and flagellar assembly were repressed, whereas expression of ribosomal genes were significantly up-regulated. The down-regulated expression of three bacterial chemotaxis related genes and seven flagella genes, which involved in cell growth and biofilm formation, were further validated by RT-qPCR. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that hfq was involved in multiple biological processes in Xac. The results could serve as initiate points for identifying regulatory sRNAs and genes controlled by Hfq-sRNA interactions in Xac.
Liu, X., Yan, Y., Wu, H., Zhou, C., & Wang, X. (2019). Biological and transcriptomic studies reveal hfq is required for swimming, biofilm formation and stress response in Xanthomonas axonpodis pv. citri. BMC Microbiology, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12866-019-1476-9