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Caractérisation de protéines PPR impliquées dans le stress biotique chez A. thaliana.

Abstract : Compared to mammals, plants do not have highly specialized cells involved in defense against pathogens. Each plant cell is able to start an immune response. To interact successfully with plants, pathogens have to block or bypass host defenses. To do so, phytopathogenic bacteria can use effectors, which are basically bacterial proteins injected in the plant cell during infection. Several effectors are known to target organelles during infection, supporting the idea that chloroplasts and mitochondria are key players in plant cell defense. As a reason, it remains necessary for the plant to keep organellar gene expression under control in order to ensure a response in proportion to the risk, without penalizing growth. Unlike nuclear gene expression, organellar gene expression regulation goes through highly complex post-transcriptional maturation steps. Among proteins involved in these events, PPR proteins (for pentatricopeptide repeat) are known to be very important. PPR proteins are involved in several RNA maturation steps in organelles, like C to U editing or splicing. They are studied in several eukaryotes, but not in bacteria. During my PhD studies, the hypothesis is exogenous or endogenous PPR proteins are involved in organellar gene expression modifications during biotic stress. To test our hypothesis, we work on PGN (Pentatricopeptide repeat protein for Germination on NaCl) in plant model A. thaliana. Characterized by Laluk et al. (2011), the KO mutant displays an enhanced sensitivity to the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea, and PGN gene expression is induced after infection. We find two editing defects for the KO mutant, in nad6 5’ non coding sequence and in cox2 coding sequence. However, editing at these two sites does not vary in wild type plants during Botrytis cinerea infection.Using a bioinformatic screen, we find several bacterial PPR proteins. Two of them are encoded by bacterial plant pathogens: Erwinia amylovora and Ralstonia solanacearum. To our knowledge, these proteins, putatively obtained through horizontal gene transfer, are the first bacterial PPR proteins to be characterized. They also share similarities with bacterial effectors. If overexpression of these bacterial PPR proteins in A. thaliana does not unveil organellar transcriptome modifications, we show a decrease of the incidence rate of the disease caused by E. amylovora in the host plant Malus domestica “Golden delicious” without a functional gene coding for the PPR protein. For both Erwinia and Ralstonia PPR, we find several interactants in A. thaliana using Yeast Two Hybrid, each of them representing a potential target that could be studied. In order to perform these experiments and obtain these results, we needed very specific tools. During the PhD studies, we develop an RNAseq analysis pipeline and an enhanced method to predict PPR binding sites, opening the way to an easier characterization of several PPR proteins.
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Bastien Malbert. Caractérisation de protéines PPR impliquées dans le stress biotique chez A. thaliana.. Biologie végétale. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS522⟩. ⟨tel-01993950⟩

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