De Novo Arginine Synthesis Is Required for Full Virulence of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis During Walnut Bacterial Blight Disease

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Walnut blight (WB) disease caused by Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis (Xaj) threatens orchards worldwide. Nitrogen metabolism in this bacterial pathogen is dependent on arginine, a nitrogen-enriched amino acid that can either be synthesized or provided by the plant host. The arginine biosynthetic pathway uses argininosuccinate synthase (argG), associated with increased bacterial virulence. We examined the effects of bacterial arginine and nitrogen metabolism on the plant response during WB by proteomic analysis of the mutant strain Xaj argG. Phenotypically, the mutant strain produced 42% fewer symptoms and survived in the plant tissue with 2.5-fold reduced growth compared with wild type, while showing itself to be auxotrophic for arginine in vitro. Proteomic analysis of infected tissue enabled the profiling of 676 Xaj proteins and 3,296 walnut proteins using isobaric labeling in a data-dependent acquisition approach. Comparative analysis of differentially expressed proteins revealed distinct plant responses. Xaj wild type (WT) triggered processes of catabolism and oxidative stress in the host under observed disease symptoms, while most of the host biosynthetic processes triggered by Xaj WT were inhibited during Xaj argG infection. Overall, the Xaj proteins revealed a drastic shift in carbon and energy management induced by disruption of nitrogen metabolism while the top differentially expressed proteins included a Fis transcriptional regulator and a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase. Our results show the critical role of de novo arginine biosynthesis to sustain virulence and minimal growth during WB. This study is timely and critical as copper-based control methods are losing their effectiveness, and new sustainable methods are urgently needed in orchard environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1512
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • TMTplex
  • Xanthomonas
  • arginine
  • energy source
  • nitrogen metabolism
  • nut crop
  • walnut blight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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