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The Roles of Two hfq Genes in the Virulence and Stress Resistance of Burkholderia glumae
Plant Pathol. J. 2018;34:412-425
Published online October 1, 2018
© 2018 The Korean Society of Plant Pathology.

Jieun Kim, Mohamed Mannaa, Namgyu Kim, Chaeyeong Lee, Juyun Kim, Jungwook Park, Hyun-Hee Lee, and Young-Su Seo*

Department of Microbiology, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea
Correspondence to: Phone) +82-51-510-2267, FAX) +82-51-514-1778
Young-Su Seo
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received June 5, 2018; Revised July 9, 2018; Accepted July 22, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The Hfq protein is a global small RNA chaperone that interacts with regulatory bacterial small RNAs (sRNA) and plays a role in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. The roles of Hfq in the virulence and pathogenicity of several infectious bacteria have been reported. This study was conducted to elucidate the functions of two hfq genes in Burkholderia glumae, a causal agent of rice grain rot. Therefore, mutant strains of the rice-pathogenic B. glumae BGR1, targeting each of the two hfq genes, as well as the double defective mutant were constructed and tested for several phenotypic characteristics. Bacterial swarming motility, toxoflavin production, virulence in rice, siderophore production, sensitivity to H2O2, and lipase production assays were conducted to compare the mutant strains with the wild-type B. glumae BGR1 and complementation strains. The hfq1 gene showed more influence on bacterial motility and toxoflavin production than the hfq2 gene. Both genes were involved in the full virulence of B. glumae in rice plants. Other biochemical characteristics such as siderophore production and sensitivity to H2O2 induced oxidative stress were also found to be regulated by the hfq1 gene. However, lipase activity was shown to be unassociated with both tested genes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to elucidate the functions of two hfq genes in B. glumae. Identification of virulence-related factors in B. glumae will facilitate the development of efficient control measures.
Keywords : Burkholderia glumae, gene functions, hfq gene, RNA chaperone

October 2018, 34 (5)
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