Bacterial competition in planta: The Type 6 Secretion System (T6SS) paradigm

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Life Sciences

Abstract

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Publications

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Bernal P (2018) Type VI secretion systems in plant-associated bacteria. in Environmental microbiology

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Bernal P (2021) A novel stabilization mechanism for the type VI secretion system sheath. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Filloux A (2018) Multiple Structures Disclose the Secretins' Secrets. in Journal of bacteriology

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Hachani A (2016) Type VI secretion and anti-host effectors. in Current opinion in microbiology

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Howard SA (2019) Looking inside an injection system. in eLife

 
Description The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is used by bacteria to outcompete other bacteria by injecting effectors and toxins into prey cells to kill them. We have used two bacteria (Agrobacterium and Pseudomonas) to understand how these toxins are transported in a specific manner and evaluate how we can manipulate the delivery device to engineer bacterial strains equipped with a T6SS that deliver toxins of our choice into preys (pathogens) of our choice.

We have demonstrated that in Agrobacterium tumefaciens the type VI secretion system is negatively controlled by c-di-GMP signalling. This was done by overexpressing a cyclase from Pseudomonas or Agrobacterium. We also observed that the type IV secretion system is decreased at high c-di-GMP concentration so that both major secretions systems are muzzled. Finally we shoed that the c-di-GMP contro; is independent f the ExoR/ChvI/ChvG reulatory network. This work led by Ronan McCarthy is currently summarized in an article that we will submit to PLoS Pathogens.

We have now shown that an accessory T6SS protein from the Pseudomonas putida K1-T6SS, we called tagB, has a major role in the speed and dynamic of the system. This has been included in a manuscript currently under reveiew at Nature Commuications.
Exploitation Route We could engineer innocuous bacterial strains equipped with a specifically design T6SS in order to control bacterial infections in plants and humans.

We could manipulate c-di-GMP signalling to control Agrobacterium infection in planta.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description H2020-MSCA-IF-2014. Marie Curie Fellowship to Patricia Bernal - 01/02/2016 to 31/01/2018
Amount € 195,454 (EUR)
Organisation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Global
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2018
 
Description Imperial College Studentship to Sarah Wettstadt (SW)
Amount £66,600 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Academia Sinica - Taiwan 
Organisation Academia Sinica
Department Agricultural Biotechnology Research Centre
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a collaboration between the laboratory of Ehr-Min Lai on the interaction between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Agrobacterium tumefaciens and about the role of the T6SS in the competition between these two organisms.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise on Agrobacterium and on the T6SS in this organism
Impact We have co-authored a manuscript which has been released in Cell Host & Microbe in 2014 (see publications) We have secured a BBSRC partnership award and have started the exchange programme. Professro Erh-Min Lai and Dr Jer-Sheng Li visited Imperial in September 2015, whereas Prof Filloux and Sarah Wettstadt (PhD student) visited Academia Sinica in November 2015.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Biochemistry and Microscopy of the Pseudomonas T6SS - Despoina Mavridou 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution - We have engineeered the constrcuts to overexpress tagX-tssA and tagJ-tssA from P. putida and P. aeruginosa, respectively - We have engineered constructs in which the T6SS and TagX (renamed TagB) or TagJ are tagged with GFP and visualized by fluorescence microscopy.
Collaborator Contribution - Despoina Mavridou has performed biochemical analysis of the TagX-TssA and TagX-TssA complexes by co-purification approaches and electron microscopy analysis. - Despoina Mavridou together with Chris Furniss ahve imaged the speed of contarction of the T6SS sheeth in presence absence of TagB which revealed a crucial role for TagB in the T6SS dynamics. This was particulary successful using P. putida as a model.
Impact A paper describing the role in T6SS dynamics is under review at Nature Communications.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Statistical analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of the T6SS in bacteria 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Engineering bacterial strains with fluorescently labelled T6SS components and recording videos
Collaborator Contribution Mathematical and statistical analysis of the T6SS foci distribution in bacterial cells and bacterial populations.
Impact Hiring a Wellcome Trust PhD student, Scott Ward, who is hosted by Niall Adams in the Department of Mathematics
Start Year 2017
 
Description Academia Sinica (IPMB), Taipei, Taiwan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact talk in the context of networking with our collaborator Erh-Min Lai
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, Talks Filloux 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a visit to establish and nurture the collaboration with the group of Professor Erh-Min Lai in the context of our BBSRC partnership award.
I gave two talks to engage with Post-docs and students and to stimulate discussion for future plans in our project.
The title of the talks were: Rewiring c-di-GMP signalling to control bacterial biofilm formation & motility AND The Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type VI secretion system: a phage-like bacterial killing device

The visit lasted from November 8 to 14, 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description European Course on Microbial Evolution and Molecular Epidemiology, ENS Lyon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Course for for French Microbiologists at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Imperial Festival - Super Bugs Zone - 27-29 April 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Open Day odf the CMBI at the annula Impetrial Festival. Several stands at the Supoer Bugs Zone describing multiple aspects of bacterial pathogens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Imperial Festival Outreach - Super Bugs Zone - Educating chirldren to the world of Microbiology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Several members of the Filloux's group, Laura Nolan (PDRA), Patricia Bernal (PDRA), Lukke Allsopp (PDRA), Thomas Wood (PhD student), Panayiota Pissaridou (PhD student), Sophie Howard (PhD student) and Sara Planamente (PDRA), designed a stand in May 2017 for the Imperial festival. These were describing various aspects of Microbiology from recognizing a bacterium to detailed molecular mechanisms of an antibacterial weapon, the T6SS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Center for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact talk in the context of Networking with future collaborators in Singapore on biofilm, c-di-GMP signalling and T6SS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Networking with our collaborator Erh-Min Lai in Taiwan
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Patricia Bernal presentation at the 6th Congress of European Microbiologists, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Bernal P., Civantos, C., Filloux, A. and Llamas M.A. Type VI secretion in the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida: role in bacterial competition. Poster presented at the 6th Congress of European Microbiologists, Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 7-11, 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Poster presentation by Thomas Wood at the FEMS 2017 meeting on the T6SS effector VgrG2b 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact PhD student from the Filloyx's group presenting work on the T6SS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster presented by Sara Planamente, Panyiota Pissaridou and Sarah Wettstadt at the Pseudomonas conference in Liverpool - The T6SS machinery and its effectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of our work on the T6SS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Posters from Luke Allsopp, Thomas Wood and Sarah Wettsadt at the 5th Molecular Microbiology and 4th Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting in Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact PDRA and PhD students from the Filloux lab, Luke Allsopp, Thomas Wood and Sarah Wettsadt, presented talks and poster on the T6SS
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk Alain Filloux Academia Sinica in Taipei 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact From January 15th, 2017 to January 23rd 2017, Alain Filloux visited Erh-Min Lai laboratory and to further discuss the collaboration and give a talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The Pseudomonas putida T6SS is a plant warden against phytopathogens. Talk Patricia Bernal at the I Department of Life Sciences Postdoc Symposium, London, UK, March 30th, 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk to communicate research within the postgraduate community in London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017