• The effect of entomopathogenic fungal culture filtrate on the immune response and haemolymph proteome of the large pine weevil, Hylobius abietis

      Mc Namara, Louise; Griffin, Christine T.; Fitzpatrick, David; Kavanagh, Kevin; Carolan, James C.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 10/RD/MCOP/NUIM/720; 12/RI/2346 (3) (Elsevier, 2018-07-17)
      The large pine weevil Hylobius abietis L. is a major forestry pest in 15 European countries, where it is a threat to 3.4 million hectares of forest. A cellular and proteomic analysis of the effect of culture filtrate of three entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) species on the immune system of H. abietis was performed. Injection with Metarhizium brunneum or Beauvaria bassiana culture filtrate facilitated a significantly increased yeast cell proliferation in larvae. Larvae co-injected with either Beauvaria caledonica or B. bassiana culture filtrate and Candida albicans showed significantly increased mortality. Together these results suggest that EPF culture filtrate has the potential to modulate the insect immune system allowing a subsequent pathogen to proliferate. Injection with EPF culture filtrate was shown to alter the abundance of protease inhibitors, detoxifing enzymes, antimicrobial peptides and proteins involved in reception/detection and development in H. abietis larvae. Larvae injected with B. caledonica culture filtrate displayed significant alterations in abundance of proteins involved in cellulolytic and other metabolic processes in their haemolymph proteome. Screening EPF for their ability to modulate the insect immune response represents a means of assessing EPF for use as biocontrol agents, particularly if the goal is to use them in combination with other control agents.
    • Insights into the transcriptomic response of the plant engineering bacterium Ensifer adhaerens OV14 during transformation

      Zuniga-Soto, Evelyn; Doohan, Fiona; Mullins, Ewen; Fitzpatrick, David; Science Foundation Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 11/RFP.1/GEN/3420; 2011210 (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-07-17)
      The ability to engineer plant genomes has been primarily driven by the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens but recently the potential of alternative rhizobia such as Rhizobium etli and Ensifer adhaerens OV14, the latter of which supports Ensifer Mediated Transformation (EMT) has been reported. Surprisingly, a knowledge deficit exists in regards to understanding the whole genome processes underway in plant transforming bacteria, irrespective of the species. To begin to address the issue, we undertook a temporal RNAseq-based profiling study of E. adhaerens OV14 in the presence/absence of Arabidopsis thaliana tissues. Following co-cultivation with root tissues, 2333 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were noted. Meta-analysis of the RNAseq data sets identified a clear shift from plasmid-derived gene expression to chromosomal-based transcription within the early stages of bacterium-plant co-cultivation. During this time, the number of differentially expressed prokaryotic genes increased steadily out to 7 days co-cultivation, a time at which optimum rates of transformation were observed. Gene ontology evaluations indicated a role for both chromosomal and plasmid-based gene families linked specifically with quorum sensing, flagellin production and biofilm formation in the process of EMT. Transcriptional evaluation of vir genes, housed on the pCAMBIA 5105 plasmid in E. adhaerens OV14 confirmed the ability of E. adhaerens OV14 to perceive and activate its transcriptome in response to the presence of 200 µM of acetosyringone. Significantly, this is the first study to characterise the whole transcriptomic response of a plant engineering bacterium in the presence of plant tissues and provides a novel insight into prokaryotic genetic processes that support T-DNA transfer.