: The rhizosphere and rhizoplane are nutrient-rich but selective environments for the root microbiome. Here, we deciphered a posttranscriptional network regulated by the homologous trans-small RNAs (sRNAs) AbcR1 and AbcR2, which rewire the metabolism of the nitrogen-fixing α-rhizobium Sinorhizobium meliloti during preinfection stages of symbiosis with its legume host alfalfa. The LysR-type regulator LsrB, which transduces the cell redox state, is indispensable for AbcR1 expression in actively dividing bacteria, whereas the stress-induced transcription of AbcR2 depends on the alternative σ factor RpoH1. MS2 affinity purification coupled with RNA sequencing unveiled exceptionally large and overlapping AbcR1/2 mRNA interactomes, jointly representing ⁓6% of the S. meliloti protein-coding genes. Most mRNAs encode transport/metabolic proteins whose translation is silenced by base pairing to two distinct anti-Shine Dalgarno motifs that function independently in both sRNAs. A metabolic model-aided analysis of the targetomes predicted changes in AbcR1/2 expression driven by shifts in carbon/nitrogen sources, which were confirmed experimentally. Low AbcR1/2 levels in some defined media anticipated overexpression growth phenotypes linked to the silencing of specific mRNAs. As a proof of principle, we confirmed AbcR1/2-mediated downregulation of the l-amino acid AapQ permease. AbcR1/2 interactomes are well represented in rhizosphere-related S. meliloti transcriptomic signatures. Remarkably, a lack of AbcR1 specifically compromised the ability of S. meliloti to colonize the root rhizoplane. The AbcR1 regulon likely ranks the utilization of available substrates to optimize metabolism, thus conferring on S. meliloti an advantage for efficient rhizosphere/rhizoplane colonization. AbcR1 regulation is predicted to be conserved in related α-rhizobia, which opens unprecedented possibilities for engineering highly competitive biofertilizers. IMPORTANCE Nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbioses between rhizobia and legume plants provide more than half of the combined nitrogen incorporated annually into terrestrial ecosystems, rendering plant growth independent of environmentally unfriendly chemical fertilizers. The success of symbiosis depends primarily on the capacity of rhizobia to establish competitive populations in soil and rhizosphere environments. Here, we provide insights into the regulation and architecture of an extensive RNA posttranscriptional network that fine-tunes the metabolism of the alfalfa symbiont S. meliloti, thereby enhancing the ability of this beneficial bacterium to colonize nutrient-rich but extremely selective niches, such as the rhizosphere of its host plant. This pervasive RNA regulation of metabolism is a major adaptive mechanism, predicted to operate in diverse rhizobial species. Because RNA regulation relies on modifiable base-pairing interactions, our findings open unexplored avenues for engineering the legumes rhizobiome within sustainable agricultural practices.

Pervasive RNA Regulation of Metabolism Enhances the Root Colonization Ability of Nitrogen-Fixing Symbiotic α-Rhizobia / García-Tomsig, Natalia I; Robledo, Marta; diCenzo, George C; Mengoni, Alessio; Millán, Vicenta; Peregrina, Alexandra; Uceta, Alejandro; Jiménez-Zurdo, José I. - In: MBIO. - ISSN 2150-7511. - ELETTRONICO. - (2022), pp. 0-0. [10.1128/mbio.03576-21]

Pervasive RNA Regulation of Metabolism Enhances the Root Colonization Ability of Nitrogen-Fixing Symbiotic α-Rhizobia

Mengoni, Alessio;
2022

Abstract

: The rhizosphere and rhizoplane are nutrient-rich but selective environments for the root microbiome. Here, we deciphered a posttranscriptional network regulated by the homologous trans-small RNAs (sRNAs) AbcR1 and AbcR2, which rewire the metabolism of the nitrogen-fixing α-rhizobium Sinorhizobium meliloti during preinfection stages of symbiosis with its legume host alfalfa. The LysR-type regulator LsrB, which transduces the cell redox state, is indispensable for AbcR1 expression in actively dividing bacteria, whereas the stress-induced transcription of AbcR2 depends on the alternative σ factor RpoH1. MS2 affinity purification coupled with RNA sequencing unveiled exceptionally large and overlapping AbcR1/2 mRNA interactomes, jointly representing ⁓6% of the S. meliloti protein-coding genes. Most mRNAs encode transport/metabolic proteins whose translation is silenced by base pairing to two distinct anti-Shine Dalgarno motifs that function independently in both sRNAs. A metabolic model-aided analysis of the targetomes predicted changes in AbcR1/2 expression driven by shifts in carbon/nitrogen sources, which were confirmed experimentally. Low AbcR1/2 levels in some defined media anticipated overexpression growth phenotypes linked to the silencing of specific mRNAs. As a proof of principle, we confirmed AbcR1/2-mediated downregulation of the l-amino acid AapQ permease. AbcR1/2 interactomes are well represented in rhizosphere-related S. meliloti transcriptomic signatures. Remarkably, a lack of AbcR1 specifically compromised the ability of S. meliloti to colonize the root rhizoplane. The AbcR1 regulon likely ranks the utilization of available substrates to optimize metabolism, thus conferring on S. meliloti an advantage for efficient rhizosphere/rhizoplane colonization. AbcR1 regulation is predicted to be conserved in related α-rhizobia, which opens unprecedented possibilities for engineering highly competitive biofertilizers. IMPORTANCE Nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbioses between rhizobia and legume plants provide more than half of the combined nitrogen incorporated annually into terrestrial ecosystems, rendering plant growth independent of environmentally unfriendly chemical fertilizers. The success of symbiosis depends primarily on the capacity of rhizobia to establish competitive populations in soil and rhizosphere environments. Here, we provide insights into the regulation and architecture of an extensive RNA posttranscriptional network that fine-tunes the metabolism of the alfalfa symbiont S. meliloti, thereby enhancing the ability of this beneficial bacterium to colonize nutrient-rich but extremely selective niches, such as the rhizosphere of its host plant. This pervasive RNA regulation of metabolism is a major adaptive mechanism, predicted to operate in diverse rhizobial species. Because RNA regulation relies on modifiable base-pairing interactions, our findings open unexplored avenues for engineering the legumes rhizobiome within sustainable agricultural practices.
2022
0
0
Goal 13: Climate action
Goal 15: Life on land
García-Tomsig, Natalia I; Robledo, Marta; diCenzo, George C; Mengoni, Alessio; Millán, Vicenta; Peregrina, Alexandra; Uceta, Alejandro; Jiménez-Zurdo, José I
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1256299
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