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posted on 2018-02-16, 11:05 authored by Lingzhi Zhang, Zhiwei Jiang, Shan Fang, Yajun Huang, Dahai Yang, Qiyao Wang, Yuanxing Zhang, Qin Liu

Many bacterial pathogens inject effectors directly into host cells to target a variety of host cellular processes and promote bacterial dissemination and survival. Identifying the bacterial effectors and elucidating their functions are central to understanding the molecular pathogenesis of these pathogens. Edwardsiella piscicida is a pathogen with a wide host range, and very few of its effectors have been identified to date. Here, based on the genes significantly regulated by macrophage infection, we identified 25 intracellular translocation-positive candidate effectors, including all five previously reported effectors, namely EseG, EseJ, EseH, EseK, and EvpP. A subsequent secretion analysis revealed diverse secretion patterns for the 25 effector candidates, suggesting that multiple transport pathways were involved in the internalization of these candidate effectors. Further, we identified two novel type VI secretion system (T6SS) putative effectors and three outer membrane vesicles (OMV)-dependent putative effectors among the candidate effectors described above, and further analyzed their contribution to bacterial virulence in a zebrafish model. This work demonstrates an effective approach for screening bacterial effectors and expands the effectors repertoire in E. piscicida.