Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Virulence

  • bacterial virulence
  • decreased virulence
  • full virulence
  • high virulence
  • increased virulence
  • lower virulence
  • parasite virulence

  • Terms modified by Virulence

  • virulence activity
  • virulence determinant
  • virulence evolution
  • virulence factor
  • virulence factor caga
  • virulence factor production
  • virulence gene
  • virulence gene expression
  • virulence genotype
  • virulence marker
  • virulence mechanism
  • virulence phenotype
  • virulence plasmid
  • virulence potential
  • virulence property
  • virulence protein
  • virulence regulator
  • virulence trait

  • Selected Abstracts


    EVOLUTION, Issue 9 2010
    Peter A. Staves
    Understanding the reasons why different parasites cause different degrees of harm to their hosts is an important objective in evolutionary biology. One group of models predicts that if hosts are infected with more than one strain or species of parasite, then competition between the parasites will select for higher virulence. While this idea makes intuitive sense, empirical data to support it are rare and equivocal. We investigated the relationship between fitness and virulence during both inter- and intraspecific competition for a fungal parasite of insects, Metarhizium anisopliae. Contrary to theoretical expectations, competition favored parasite strains with either a lower or a higher virulence depending on the competitor: when in interspecific competition with an entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema feltiae, less virulent strains of the fungus were more successful, but when competing against conspecific fungi, more virulent strains were better competitors. We suggest that the nature of competition (direct via toxin production when competing against the nematode, indirect via exploitation of the host when competing against conspecific fungal strains) determines the relationship between virulence and competitive ability. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 7 2010
    Hélène Magalon
    In parasites with mixed modes of transmission, ecological conditions may determine the relative importance of vertical and horizontal transmission for parasite fitness. This may lead to differential selection pressure on the efficiency of the two modes of transmission and on parasite virulence. In populations with high birth rates, increased opportunities for vertical transmission may select for higher vertical transmissibility and possibly lower virulence. We tested this idea in experimental populations of the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Serial dilution produced constant host population growth and frequent vertical transmission. Consistent with predictions, evolved parasites from this "high-growth" treatment had higher fidelity of vertical transmission and lower virulence than parasites from host populations constantly kept near their carrying capacity ("low-growth treatment"). High-growth parasites also produced fewer, but more infectious horizontal transmission stages, suggesting the compensation of trade-offs between vertical and horizontal transmission components in this treatment. These results illustrate how environmentally driven changes in host demography can promote evolutionary divergence of parasite life history and transmission strategies. [source]

    Experimentally Constrained Virulence is Costly for Common Cuckoo Chicks

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    Chicks of some avian brood parasites show high virulence by eliminating all host progeny in the nest whereas others develop in the presence of host nestmates. Common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) chicks are typically highly virulent parasites as they attempt to evict all host eggs and chicks soon after hatching. However, several features of nest design, including steep walls and/or cavity nests, may effectively prevent cuckoo hatchlings from evicting nestmates. A previous observational study showed low success of cuckoo chicks in evicting progeny of a cavity nester host, the redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) but cuckoo chicks showed low survival both when reared alone or in mixed broods with host nestmates. Whether poor cuckoo performance was caused by eviction costs and/or by the effect of presence of host chicks per se remains unclear. We experimentally cancelled any potential eviction costs by removing host eggs immediately after the cuckoo hatched and creating mixed broods 5 days later when the eviction instinct of the cuckoo already ceased. Cuckoos that were forced to compete with host nestlings experienced lower provisioning rates, poorer growth, and lower fledging success than control lone cuckoos. Cuckoos in mixed broods that survived until fledging fledged later, and at lower masses, than those in the sole cuckoo group. Thus, the cuckoo gens specializing on redstarts is similar to other cuckoo gentes, whose chicks are more successful in evicting host nestmates, and it does not benefit from the presence of host brood. Cohabitation with host nestlings then should be viewed as a maladaptive by-product of host cavity nest design. [source]

    Transcriptional profiling of the Candida albicans Ssk1p receiver domain point mutants and their virulence

    FEMS YEAST RESEARCH, Issue 5 2008
    Veena Menon
    Abstract The Ssk1p response regulator of Candida albicans is required for oxidant adaptation, survival in human neutrophils, and virulence in a disseminated murine model of candidiasis. We have previously shown that the amino acid residues D556 and D513 of the Ssk1p receiver domain are critical to the Ssk1p in oxidant stress adaptation and morphogenesis. Herein, transcriptional profiling is used to explain the oxidant sensitivity and morphogenesis defect of two point mutants (D556N and D513K, respectively) compared with a WT strain. In the D556N mutant, during oxidative stress (5 mM H2O2), a downregulation of genes associated with redox homeostasis and oxidative stress occurred, which accounted for about 5% of all gene changes, including among others, SOD1 (superoxide dismutase), CAP1 (required for some types of oxidant stress), and three genes encoding glutathione biosynthesis proteins (GLR1, GSH1, and GSH2). Mutant D513K was not sensitive to peroxide but was impaired in its yeast $/to hyphal transition. We noted downregulation of genes associated with morphogenesis and cell elongation. Virulence of each mutant was also evaluated in a rat vaginitis model of candidiasis. Clearance of an SSK1 null and the D556N mutants from the vaginal canal was significantly greater than wild type or the D513K mutant, indicating that a change in a single amino acid of the Ssk1p alters the ability of this strain to colonize the rat vaginal mucosa. [source]

    Biscogniauxia nummularia: pathogenic agent of a beech decline

    FOREST PATHOLOGY, Issue 6 2004
    G. Granata
    Summary Decline of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Sicily and Calabria (Italy) was observed to be associated with the ascomycete Biscogniauxia nummularia. This fungus is naturally present in beech stands and to date has not been considered a primary pathogenic agent. Artificial inoculations were performed to assess its pathogenicity on beech and to determine if Sicilian and Calabrian isolates differ in virulence. Biscogniauxia nummularia played an evident primary pathogenic role under the environmental conditions studied. Virulence of the isolates was variable and did not depend neither on the geographic origin nor the environmental conditions at the sites where pathogenicity testing was performed. Résumé Le champignon ascomycète Biscogniauxia nummularia a été observé en association avec un dépérissement du hêtre européen (Fagus sylvatica) en Sicile et en Calabre (Italie). Ce champignon est naturellement présent dans les hêtraies et n'était pas considéré jusqu'à présent comme un agent pathogène primaire. Des inoculations artificielles ont été réalisées pour évaluer son pouvoir pathogène sur hêtre et déterminer si les isolats de Sicile et de Calabre présentent des différences de virulence. Dans les conditions de l'étude, B. nummularia prèsente clairement un rôle pathogène primaire. Les isolats ont une virulence variable, qui ne peut pas être reliée à l'origine géographique ou aux conditions environnementales des sites d'étude du pouvoir pathogène. Zusammenfassung Der Ascomycet Biscogniauxia nummularia wurde im Zusammenhang mit dem Absterben von Buchen (Fagus sylvatica) in Sizilien und Kalabrien (Italien) beobachtet. Der Pilz stellt eine natürliche Komponente von Buchenwäldern dar und wurde bis anhin nicht als ein primäres Pathogen eingestuft. Die Pathogenität von B. nummularia wurde mittels Infektionsversuchen an Buchen neu beurteilt, und die Virulenz von sizilianischen und kalabrischen Isolaten verglichen. Unter den getesteten Umweltbedingungen wirkte B. nummularia als primäres Pathogen. Die Virulenz der Isolate war unterschiedlich, hing aber weder von der Herkunft der Isolate noch den Umweltbedingungen an den Versuchsstandorten ab. [source]

    Host,parasite interactions and vectors in the barn swallow in relation to climate change

    A. P. MØLLER
    Abstract Recent climate change has affected the phenology of numerous species, and such differential changes may affect host,parasite interactions. Using information on vectors (louseflies, mosquitoes, blackflies) and parasites (tropical fowl mite Ornithonyssus bursa, the lousefly Ornithomyia avicularia, a chewing louse Brueelia sp., two species of feather mites Trouessartia crucifera and Trouessartia appendiculata, and two species of blood parasites Leucozytozoon whitworthi and Haemoproteus prognei) of the barn swallow Hirundo rustica collected during 1971,2008, I analyzed temporal changes in emergence and abundance, relationships with climatic conditions, and changes in the fitness impact of parasites on their hosts. Temperature and rainfall during the summer breeding season of the host increased during the study. The intensity of infestation by mites decreased, but increased for the lousefly during 1982,2008. The prevalence of two species of blood parasites increased during 1988,2008. The timing of first mass emergence of mosquitoes and blackflies advanced. These temporal changes in phenology and abundance of parasites and vectors could be linked to changes in temperature, but less so to changes in precipitation. Parasites had fitness consequences for hosts because intensity of the mite and the chewing louse was significantly associated with delayed breeding of the host, while a greater abundance of feather mites was associated with earlier breeding. Reproductive success of the host decreased with increasing abundance of the chewing louse. The temporal decrease in mite abundance was associated with advanced breeding of the host, while the increase in abundance of the lousefly was associated with earlier breeding. Virulence by the tropical fowl mite decreased with increasing temperature, independent of confounding factors. These findings suggest that climate change affects parasite species differently, hence altering the composition of the parasite community, and that climate change causes changes in the virulence of parasites. Because the changing phenology of different species of parasites had both positive and negative effects on their hosts, and because the abundance of some parasites increased, while that of other decreased, there was no consistent temporal change in host fitness during 1971,2008. [source]

    Chronic Atrophic Gastritis, Intestinal Metaplasia, Helicobacter pylori Virulence, IL1RN Polymorphisms, and Smoking in Dyspeptic Patients from Mozambique and Portugal

    HELICOBACTER, Issue 4 2009
    Bárbara Peleteiro
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Phenotypic, serological and genetic characterization of Flavobacterium psychrophilum strains isolated from salmonids in Chile

    S Valdebenito
    Abstract Characterization of 20 Flavobacterium psychrophilum strains isolated from farmed Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout in Chile was done using phenotypic, antigenic and genetic techniques. Experimental infections were also performed to assess the virulence of two representative isolates and of the type strain. Biochemical and physiological analyses showed that Chilean F. psychrophilum strains, regardless of the host species, constitute a phenotypically very homogeneous group matching with previous descriptions of this pathogen. However, serological assays indicated the existence of antigenic heterogeneity with four patterns of serological reactions. The first group contained most (14 of 20) of the F. psychrophilum isolates showing cross-reaction with the antisera obtained against Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout isolates. Group 2 corresponded to four other rainbow trout isolates (1658, 1731, 1762 and 29009) that did not agglutinate with anti-1150 serum. Two minor serological groups were identified for the remaining isolates (Groups 3 and 4). Marked homogeneity was also revealed by genetic studies including 16S rRNA alleles, random amplified polymorphic DNA and REP-PCR showing that a major genetic group of F. psychrophilum may be dominant in disease outbreaks in farms. Restriction fragment length polymorphism of PCR analysis showed that gyrase genotypes B-S or B-R were found in Chilean isolates from rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon, whereas genotype A was not found. Virulence assays using Atlantic salmon indicated no relationship between the degree of pathogenicity and the host origin of the F. psychrophilum strains. [source]

    Phenotypic, serological and genetic characterization of Pseudomonas anguilliseptica strains isolated from cod, Gadus morhua L., in northern Europe

    S Balboa
    Abstract The biochemical, serological and genetic characteristics of six strains of Pseudomonas anguilliseptica isolated from cod, Gadus morhua, in Scotland were compared to well characterized isolates of this same bacterial species but of different origin. Biochemical and physiological analyses showed that this group of isolates was highly homogeneous, their characteristics matching previous descriptions of the pathogen. Similar results were obtained for the six cod isolates in the serological assays, all of them belonging to the serotype O1. Marked homogeneity was observed also in the genetic study, analysed by means of RAPD, ERIC-PCR and REP-PCR procedures, showing that they were similar to isolates from gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata, black spot seabream, Pagellus bogaraveo, and turbot, Psetta maxima. Virulence assays demonstrated that the cod isolates were highly pathogenic for turbot and sole, Solea senegalensis, with LD50 between 7.6 × 104 and 5 × 107 bacterial cells per fish. [source]

    Conservation biological control with the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis: implications of aphid species, host plant and predator foraging

    S. Ekesi
    Abstract 1,Pandora neoaphidis is an important aphid-specific fungal pathogen in temperate agroecosystems. Laboratory studies were carried out to obtain baseline data on factors that may affect its performance in conservation biological control. 2,Virulence of P. neoaphidis was assessed in dose,response bioassays against Microlophium carnosum on nettle, Uroleucon jaceae on knapweed, Acyrthosiphon pisum on bean and bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus, and Metopolophium dirhodum on barley and Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus. The most susceptible aphid was A. pisum feeding on bean with an LD50 of 19 conidia per mm2, whereas U. jaceae had an LD50 of 104 conidia per mm2 and was least susceptible to infection. 3,The presence of foraging adult ladybirds, Coccinella septempunctata, increased transmission of P. neoaphidis from infected cadavers to apterae of M. carnosum, U. jacea, and A. pisum by 7,30% at the largest cadaver density tested. Adult coccinellids that had previously foraged on nettle, knapweed, bean or bird's-foot trefoil transfered conidia to A. pisum on bean and induced infections in 2,13% of aphids. 4,Conidia of P. neoaphidis dispersed passively in the airstream from sporulating M. carnosum cadavers on nettle plants and initiated infections in A. pisum colonies feeding on bean (4,33%) or M. dirhodum on barley (3%) located within 1.0 m of the nettle source. 5,The results suggest that M. carnosum and A. pisum may be more useful as reservoirs for P. neoaphidis in noncrop and crop areas than U. jaceae or M. dirhodum, and infection and dispersal between habitats could be enhanced in the presence of coccinellids. [source]

    Accumulation of Elsinochrome Phytotoxin does not Correlate with Fungal Virulence among Elsinoë fawcettii Isolates in Florida

    Li-Yuan Wang
    Abstract Citrus scab caused by Elsinoë fawcettii is cosmopolitan in humid citrus-growing areas. We have previously demonstrated that production of non-host selective elsinochrome phytotoxin is a prerequisite for fungal full virulence and lesion formation. In this study we evaluated 71 field-collected isolates from Florida for pathogenicity and toxin production and found most of the isolates to be pathogenic to rough lemon, grapefruit and sour orange and able to produce elsinochromes in axenic culture. Elsinochromes were recovered, for the first time, from leaf lesions infected by 21 isolates, including four isolates that did not produce any measurable toxin in culture. There was no direct correspondence between the level of elsinochrome production in culture and virulence among the isolates. However, Elsinoë isolates failed to produce elsinochromes in culture and in planta were non-pathogenic to citrus hosts tested. Several isolates were non-pathogenic or only moderately virulent to the citrus hosts tested even though they could produce elsinochromes in culture, a phenotype not previously described in Florida. [source]

    Virulence Frequences of Puccinia triticina in Germany and the European Regions of the Russian Federation

    V. Lind
    Abstract From 2001 to 2003, leaf rust was collected in different regions of Germany and the Russian Federation to generate single spore isolates and to study the structure of the pathogen populations by analyses of virulence. The virulence of isolates was tested with 38 near-isogenic lines each carrying a different resistance gene. The analyses of variance revealed significant effects for the frequency of virulent isolates, the regions and most interactions with years and regions, but no significance was found for the effects of years. In Germany, an increase of virulence frequencies was detected for Lr1 and Lr2a while a decrease was found for Lr3a, Lr3bg and Lr3ka. Such clear trends did not occur in Russia which may be due to the great agroclimatic differences between regions. The variance of the frequency of virulent isolates was used to estimate adequate sample sizes for the analysis of regional populations of leaf rust. This procedure resulted in more reliable information about the dynamic processes within the pathogen populations. In 2002 and 2003, all pathotypes in Germany had a combined virulence to Lr1, Lr2a, Lr2b, Lr15, Lr17 and Lr20 supplemented by a few other genes. The complexity of virulence was lower in the most frequent pathotypes. In Russia virulence to the alleles at locus Lr3 was very common. Using detached leaf segments in Germany and Russia it turned out that the most virulent pathotypes carry 34 and 32 virulence genes, respectively. Virulence to Lr9, Lr19, Lr24 and Lr38 was rare or even absent. The use of major genes, not overcome by corresponding virulent pathotypes, may contribute to more durable types of resistance in case they are combined with genes having different effects, e.g. adult plant resistance. [source]

    Identification of Cochliobolus sativus (Spot Blotch) Isolates Expressing Differential Virulence on Barley Genotypes in Syria

    M. I. E. Arabi
    Abstract Spot blotch, caused by Cochliobolus sativus, is a common foliar disease of barley. Information on the variability of virulence in C. sativus is essential for the production of spot-resistant barley cultivars. The virulence variability of isolates of this pathogen collected from different regions of Syria was evaluated using 10 differential barley genotypes originating from widely dispersed areas. Genotypes showed a continuous range of response from very susceptible to moderately resistant but none was immune to the disease. A cluster analysis indicated that the isolates had distinct differential virulence patterns within the three groups. A mean disease rating of 3.71 was the separation point between avirulent and virulent reactions. The data demonstrated that variation occurred in the virulence of and the resistance level to isolates and among genotypes, respectively. Isolate C41 exhibited distinct differential virulence patterns, high frequency and low variance in all genotypes. To incorporate adequate levels of resistance into future barley genotypes, disease evaluations should be made with C. sativus isolates that express the full spectrum of virulence found in Syria. [source]

    Virulence, phenotype and genotype characteristics of endodontic Enterococcus spp.

    C. M. Sedgley
    Background/aims:, Enterococci have been implicated in persistent root canal infections but their role in the infection process remains unclear. This study investigated the virulence, phenotype and genotype of 33 endodontic enterococcal isolates. Methods:, Phenotypic tests were conducted for antibiotic resistance, clumping response to pheromone, and production of gelatinase, hemolysin and bacteriocin. Genotype analysis involved polymerase chain reaction amplification of virulence determinants encoding aggregation substances asa and asa373, cytolysin activator cylA, gelatinase gelE, gelatinase-negative phenotype ef1841/fsrC, adherence factors esp and ace, and endocarditis antigen efaA. Physical DNA characterization involved pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of genomic DNA, and plasmid analysis. Results:, Potential virulence traits expressed included production of gelatinase by Enterococcus faecalis (n = 23), and response to pheromones in E. faecalis culture filtrate (n = 16). Fourteen strains produced bacteriocin. Five strains were resistant to tetracycline and one to gentamicin, whereas all were susceptible to ampicillin, benzylpenicillin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, fusidic acid, kanamycin, rifampin, streptomycin and vancomycin. Polymerase chain reaction products encoding efaA, ace, and asa were detected in all isolates; esp was detected in 20 isolates, cylA in six isolates, but asa373 was never detected. The gelatinase gene (gelE) was detected in all isolates of E. faecalis (n = 31) but not in Enterococcus faecium (n = 2); a 23.9 kb deletion sequence corresponding to the gelatinase-negative phenotype was detected in six of the eight E. faecalis isolates that did not produce gelatinase. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and plasmid analyses revealed genetic polymorphism with clonal types evident. Plasmid DNA was detected in 25 strains, with up to four plasmids per strain and a similar (5.1 kb) plasmid occurring in 16 isolates. Conclusions:, Phenotypic and genotypic evidence of potential virulence factors were identified in endodontic Enterococcus spp., specifically production of gelatinase and response to pheromones. [source]

    The protein secretory pathway of Candida albicans

    MYCOSES, Issue 4 2009
    William A. Fonzi
    Summary Virulence of the opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans, relies on an assemblage of attributes. These include the secretion of hydrolytic enzymes, cell surface adhesins, morphological transition between yeast and hyphae, phenotypic switching and biofilm formation. These diverse features are united by their dependence on the protein secretory apparatus for expression. Although the secretory apparatus of C. albicans has been studied limitedly, it appears to conform to the well-conserved eukaryotic system of vesicle-mediated transport between intracellular compartments and the cell surface. Genome comparison with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, shows multiple differences whose functional significance is yet unstudied. A unique aspect of the secretory pathway of C. albicans is its structural, and perhaps functional, rearrangement in hyphal vs. yeast cells. This, and evidence of non-conserved secretion mechanism(s), suggest that there is much fundamental knowledge to be derived from the analysis of secretion in C. albicans, which will be relevant to its ability to cause disease. [source]

    The quick and the deadly: growth vs virulence in a seed bank pathogen

    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Issue 1 2010
    Susan E. Meyer
    Summary ,We studied the relationship between virulence (ability to kill nondormant Bromus tectorum seeds) and mycelial growth index in the necrotrophic seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda. Seed pathosystems involving necrotrophs differ from those commonly treated in traditional evolution-of-virulence models in that host death increases pathogen fitness by preventing germination, thereby increasing available resources. Because fast-germinating, nondormant B. tectorum seeds commonly escape mortality, we expected virulence to be positively correlated with mycelial growth index. ,We performed seed inoculations using conidia from 78 pathogen isolates and scored subsequent mortality. For a subset of 40 of these isolates, representing a range of virulence phenotypes, we measured mycelial growth index. ,Virulence varied over a wide range (3,43% seed mortality) and was significantly negatively correlated with mycelial growth index (R2 = 0.632). More virulent isolates grew more slowly than less virulent isolates. ,We concluded that there is an apparent tradeoff between virulence and growth in this pathogen, probably because the production of toxins necessary for necrotrophic pathogenesis competes with metabolic processes associated with growth. Variation in both virulence and growth rate in this pathosystem may be maintained in part by seasonal variation in the relative abundance of rapidly germinating vs dormant host seeds available to the pathogen. [source]

    A meta-analysis of parasite virulence in nestling birds

    BIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, Issue 4 2009
    A. P. Møller
    Abstract Parasitism is a common cause of host mortality, but little is known about the ecological factors affecting parasite virulence (the rate of mortality among infected hosts). We reviewed 117 field estimates of parasite-induced nestling mortality in birds, showing that there was significant consistency in mortality among host and parasite taxa. Virulence increased towards the tropics in analyses of both species-specific data and phylogenetic analyses. We found evidence of greater parasite prevalence being associated with reduced virulence. Furthermore, bird species breeding in open nest sites suffered from greater parasite-induced mortality than hole-nesting species. By contrast, parasite specialization and generation time of parasites relative to that of hosts explained little variation in virulence. Likewise, there were little or no significant effects of host genetic variability, host sociality, host migration, host insular distribution or host survival on parasite virulence. These findings suggest that parasite-induced nestling mortality in birds is mainly determined by geographical location and to a smaller extent nest site and prevalence. [source]

    Variation in Aggressiveness of Stagonospora nodorum Isolates in North Dakota

    S. Ali
    Abstract Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB), caused by Stagonospora nodorum, is an important disease in the northern Great Plains of the United States and in other wheat-producing regions in the world. SNB can be managed by different strategies including the use of resistant cultivars. Genetic variation in the pathogen populations is one of the important factors in the development of durable resistant cultivars. Our main objective was to determine variation in aggressiveness/virulence in the 40 isolates of S. nodorum collected from various locations in North Dakota. To achieve this goal, we tested the isolates on two susceptible wheat cultivars (cvs ,ND495' and ,Alsen') and two resistant wheat cultivars (cvs ,Erik' and ,Salamouni') , two-leaf-stage seedlings under controlled conditions. Aggressiveness of each isolate was characterized by the two epidemiological parameters: percent necrotic leaf area (% NLA) and lesion type (LT) 8 days post-inoculation. The isolates differed significantly (P , 0.05) for % NLA and LT, and were grouped into three aggressiveness groups (AG): low, medium and highly aggressive. Four isolates (S50, S57, S66 and S89) induced 18,26% NLA and were included into the low aggressive group (AG 1). Three isolates (S15, S39 and S89) induced 57,59% NLA and were considered highly aggressive (AG 3). Thirty-three isolates were medium aggressive (AG 2). No relationship between AG and mating types was observed. There were significant (P , 0.05) differences in % NLA and LT among wheat cultivars. Significant wheat cultivars by isolates interaction was also demonstrated, suggesting evidence for the existence of host specificity in this system. Overall, our results indicate that S. nodorum isolates prevalent in North Dakota varied greatly in their aggressiveness and that AG 3 isolates can be utilized in breeding wheat for resistance to SNB. [source]

    Rust of flax and linseed caused by Melampsora lini

    SUMMARY Melampsora lini, while of economic importance as the causal agent of rust disease of flax and linseed, has for several decades been the ,model' rust species with respect to genetic studies of avirulence/virulence. Studies by Harold Flor demonstrated that single pairs of allelic genes determine the avirulence/virulence phenotype on host lines with particular resistance genes and led him to propose his famous ,gene-for-gene' hypothesis. Flor's inheritance studies, together with those subsequently carried out by others, also revealed that, in some cases, an inhibitor gene pair and an avirulence/virulence gene pair interact to determine the infection outcome on host lines with particular resistance genes. Recently, avirulence/virulence genes at four loci, AvrL567, AvrM, AvrP4 and AvrP/AvrP123, have been cloned. All encode novel, small, secreted proteins that are recognized inside plant cells. Yeast two-hybrid studies have shown that the AvrL567 proteins interact directly with the resistance gene protein. The molecular basis of Flor's gene-for-gene relationship has now been elucidated for six interacting gene pairs: those involving resistance genes L5, L6, L7, M, P and P2, where both the resistance gene and the corresponding avirulence gene have been cloned. In other inheritance studies it has been shown that M. lini does not possess a (+) and (,) mating system, but may possess a two factor system. Double-stranded (ds) RNA molecules occur in many strains of M. lini: examination of the progeny of one strain that possesses 11 dsRNA molecules revealed that they fall into three transmission units, designated L, A and B. The L unit consists of a single large dsRNA of 5.2 kbp while the A and B units each consist of five dsRNAs in the size range 1.1,2.8 kbp. The three units have different sexual and asexual transmission characteristics. The L unit is encapsidated in a virus-like particle, whereas the other units are not encapsidated. The population and coevolutionary aspects of M. lini on a wild, native Australian host species, Linum marginale, have been extensively investigated. A recent molecular analysis revealed that the M. lini isolates from L. marginale fall into two distinct lineages, one of which is apparently hybrid between two diverse genomes. Isolates in this lineage are largely fixed for heterozygosity, which suggests that sexual recombination does not occur in this lineage. [source]

    Optimizing flow cytometric DNA ploidy and S-phase fraction as independent prognostic markers for node-negative breast cancer specimens

    CYTOMETRY, Issue 3 2001
    C.B. Bagwell
    Abstract Developing a reliable and quantitative assessment of the potential virulence of a malignancy has been a long-standing goal in clinical cytometry. DNA histogram analysis provides valuable information on the cycling activity of a tumor population through S-phase estimates; it also identifies nondiploid populations, a possible indicator of genetic instability and subsequent predisposition to metastasis. Because of conflicting studies in the literature, the clinical relevance of both of these potential prognostic markers has been questioned for the management of breast cancer patients. The purposes of this study are to present a set of 10 adjustments derived from a single large study that optimizes the prognostic strength of both DNA ploidy and S-phase and to test the validity of this approach on two other large multicenter studies. Ten adjustments to both DNA ploidy and S-phase were developed from a single node-negative breast cancer database from Baylor College (n = 961 cases). Seven of the adjustments were used to reclassify histograms into low-risk and high-risk ploidy patterns based on aneuploid fraction and DNA index optimum thresholds resulting in prognostic P values changing from little (P < 0.02) or no significance to P < 0.000005. Other databases from Sweden (n = 210 cases) and France (n = 220 cases) demonstrated similar improvement of DNA ploidy prognostic significance, P < 0.02 to P < 0.0009 and P < 0.12 to P < 0.002, respectively. Three other adjustments were applied to diploid and aneuploid S-phases. These adjustments eliminated a spurious correlation between DNA ploidy and S-phase and enabled them to combine independently into a powerful prognostic model capable of stratifying patients into low, intermediate, and high-risk groups (P < 0.000005). When the Baylor prognostic model was applied to the Sweden and French databases, similar significant patient stratifications were observed (P < 0.0003 and P < 0.00001, respectively). The successful transference of the Baylor prognostic model to other studies suggests that the proposed adjustments may play an important role in standardizing this test and provide valuable prognostic information to those involved in the management of breast cancer patients. Cytometry (Comm. Clin. Cytometry) 46:121,135, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Bacterial protein kinase inhibitors

    Michio Kurosu
    Abstract Protein kinases have become the second most important group of drug targets for the pharmaceutical industry next to G-protein-coupled receptors. Thus, over the past decade, a significant number of small molecules have been generated for protein kinase drug optimization programs. The vast majority of kinase inhibitors target the ATP binding site of the enzyme; however, the poor protein kinase selectivity of ATP-competitive protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs) limits their use for treating chronic diseases. In contrast, for inhibitors of bacterial signal transduction systems targeting bacterial kinase(s), there are no such selectivity requirements as long as the inhibitor does not act on any human kinases at the effective concentrations for killing bacteria in vivo. Protein phosphorylation in bacteria is performed by two-component signal transduction systems (2CSTSs) and eukaryotic-like serine/threonine kinases or bacterial tyrosine kinases. Recently, a large number of studies of protein kinases essential for sustaining bacterial growth and kinases required for virulence have been reported. Thus, bacterial protein kinases offer considerable potential as new drug targets. To identify bacterial PKIs, large chemical libraries of ATP-competitive inhibitors developed for eukaryotic protein kinases are an invaluable asset. This manuscript reviews progress on the development of prokaryotic protein kinase inhibitors. Drug Dev Res 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Bede on the Britons

    W. Trent Foley
    This paper addresses the many facets of Bede's portrayal of the Britons in the Historia ecclesiastica, first by illustrating his attempts to cast the Britons generally in the role of usually villainous biblical types and then by examining his often more positive portrayal of certain Britons and British groups independently of those types. His recommendation of certain British Christians as saints to be imitated as well as his conviction that God has not abandoned them to perdition exempts him from the charge of being unqualifiedly anti-British. Nevertheless, his singular stereotyping of them among all the peoples of Britain reveals an especial virulence not easily explained by his biblically informed world-view. [source]

    Thermal biology of the meadow grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus, and the implications for resistance to disease

    Simon Springate
    Abstract., 1.,The thermal biology of the meadow grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus, a common, habitat generalist acridid species found in the U.K., was characterised and the influence of thermoregulatory behaviour for resistance against a temperate (Beauveria bassiana) and tropical (Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum) fungal pathogen was determined. 2.,Chorthippus parallelus was found to be an active behavioural thermoregulator, with a preferred temperature range of 32,35 °C. 3.,Both pathogens proved lethal to fifth instar and adult grasshoppers. No evidence of behavioural fever in response to infection by either pathogen was found, but normal thermoregulation was found to reduce virulence and spore production of B. bassiana. Normal thermoregulation did not appear to affect M. anisopliae var. acridum. 4.,These results suggest that the effects of temperature on host resistance depend on the thermal sensitivity of the pathogen and, in this case, derive from direct effects of temperature on pathogen growth rather than indirect effects mediated by host immune response. 5.,The implications for possible risks of exotic pathogens and influence of climate change are discussed. [source]

    Top-down and bottom-up regulation of herbivores: Spodoptera frugiperda turns tables on endophyte-mediated plant defence and virulence of an entomopathogenic nematode

    Douglas S. Richmond
    Abstract., 1. The fungus Neotyphodium lolii forms a symbiotic relationship with its grass host Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass). The fungus benefits from access to plant nutrients and photosynthate, whereas the plant benefits from acquired chemical defence against herbivory. 2. This study examined the potential for endophyte-mediated plant defences to influence interactions between fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda, and the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae and clarified biological mechanisms underlying the observations made. 3. In laboratory and greenhouse experiments, S. frugiperda larvae were fed endophytic or non-endophytic L. perenne then exposed to S. carpocapsae or injected with the nematodes' symbiotic bacteria Xenorhabdus nematophila. 4. In all instances, S. frugiperda larvae fed endophyte-infected grass suffered significantly lower mortality than those fed non-endophytic plants. Although larvae fed endophyte-infected grass often had significantly lower biomass than those fed uninfected grass, these differences did not account for altered susceptibility to S. carpocapsae. 5. Endophyte-mediated reductions in herbivore susceptibility to the nematode pathogen represent a herbivore adaptation that effectively turns the tables on both plant and natural enemy by reducing the virulence of the nematodes' symbiotic bacteria while expanding the temporal window of herbivory. [source]

    The ecology of virulence

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 10 2006
    Curtis M. Lively
    Abstract Theoretical work has shown that parasites should evolve intermediate levels of virulence. Less attention has been given to the ecology of virulence. Here I explore population-dynamic models of infection in an annual host. The infection does not kill the host; but it can decrease the number of offspring produced by the host, and the magnitude of this effect depends on host population size. Hence, ,virulence' is density dependent, and is defined here as the difference in birth rates between uninfected and infected hosts, divided by the birth rate of uninfected hosts. The results suggest that infection can be highly virulent at the host's equilibrium density, even though the parasite has no effect on the host's intrinsic birth rate. The results also suggest that parasites may help to stabilize host population dynamics. In general, the impact of infection may be underestimated in natural populations. [source]

    Temperature checks the Red Queen?

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 1 2003
    Resistance, virulence in a fluctuating environment
    Abstract Numerous studies have revealed genetic variation in resistance and susceptibility in host,parasite interactions and therefore the potential for frequency-dependent selection (Red Queen dynamics). Few studies, if any, have considered the abiotic environment as a mediating factor in these interactions. Using the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and its fungal pathogen, Erynia neoaphidis, as a model host,parasite system, we demonstrate how temperature can mediate the expression of genotypic variation for susceptibility and virulence. Whilst previous studies have revealed among-clone variation in aphid resistance to this pathogen, we show that resistance rankings derived from assessments at one temperature, are not conserved across differing temperature regimes. We suggest that variation in environmental temperature, through its nonlinear impact on parasite virulence and host defence, may contribute to the general lack of evidence for frequency-dependent selection in field systems. [source]

    Virulence evolution via host exploitation and toxin production in spore-producing pathogens

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 4 2002
    Troy Day
    Many pathogens produce resilient free-living propagules that allow their dissemination in the absence of direct contact between susceptible and infected hosts. One might expect pathogens capable of producing such long-lived propagules to evolve high levels of virulence because their reproductive success is de-coupled from the survival of their host. Despite some comparative data supporting this prediction, theory has questioned its general validity. I present theoretical results that incorporate two transmission routes neglected by previous theory: death-mediated propagule production and direct host-host transmission. This theory predicts that spore-producing pathogens should evolve high levels of virulence under quite broad conditions. Moreover, a novel prediction of this theory is that the production of propagules can generate selection for the evolution of pathogen characteristics such as toxins whose sole function is to kill the host. This latter result reveals an unanticipated mechanism through which virulence is expected to evolve in spore-producing pathogens. [source]

    Local adaptation and the geometry of host,parasite coevolution

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 2 2002
    Sylvain Gandon
    Metapopulation dynamics can strongly affect the ecological and evolutionary processes involved in host,parasite interactions. Here, I analyse a deterministic host,parasite coevolutionary model and derive analytic approximations for the level of local adaptation as a function of (1) host migration rate, (2) parasite migration rate, (3) parasite specificity and (4) parasite virulence. This analysis confirms the results of previous simulation studies: the difference between host and parasite migration rates may explain the level of local adaptation of both species. I also show that both higher specificity and higher virulence generally lead to higher levels of local adaptation of the species which is already ahead in the coevolutionary arms race. The present analysis also provides a simple geometric interpretation for local adaptation which captures the complexity of the temporal dynamics of host,parasite coevolution. [source]

    Transcriptional control of the pvdS iron starvation sigma factor gene by the master regulator of sulfur metabolism CysB in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Francesco Imperi
    Summary In the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the alternative sigma factor PvdS acts as a key regulator of the response to iron starvation. PvdS also controls P. aeruginosa virulence, as it drives the expression of a large set of genes primarily implicated in biogenesis and transport of the pyoverdine siderophore and synthesis of extracellular factors, such as protease PrpL and exotoxin A. Besides the ferric uptake regulatory protein Fur, which shuts off pvdS transcription under iron-replete conditions, no additional regulatory factor(s) controlling the pvdS promoter activity have been characterized so far. Here, we used the promoter region of pvdS as bait to tentatively capture, by DNA-protein affinity purification, P. aeruginosa proteins that are able to bind specifically to the pvdS promoter. This led to the identification and functional characterization of the LysR-like transcription factor CysB as a novel regulator of pvdS transcription. The CysB protein directly binds to the pvdS promoter in vitro and acts as a positive regulator of PvdS expression in vivo. The absence of a functional CysB protein results in about 50% reduction of expression of PvdS-dependent virulence phenotypes. Given the role of CysB as master regulator of sulfur metabolism, our findings establish a novel molecular link between the iron and sulfur regulons in P. aeruginosa. [source]

    Interference of quorum sensing in Pseudomonas syringae by bacterial epiphytes that limit iron availability

    Glenn F. J. Dulla
    Summary Leaf surfaces harbour bacterial epiphytes that are capable of influencing the quorum sensing (QS) system, density determination through detection of diffusible signal molecules, of the plant-pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae (Pss) which controls expression of extracellular polysaccharide production, motility and other factors contributing to virulence to plants. Approximately 11% of the bacterial epiphytes recovered from a variety of plants produced a diffusible factor capable of inhibiting the QS system of Pss as indicated by suppression of ahlI. Blockage of QS by these interfering strains correlated strongly with their ability to limit iron availability to Pss. A direct relationship between the ability of isogenic Escherichia coli strains to sequester iron via their production of different siderophores and their ability to suppress QS in Pss was also observed. Quorum sensing induction was inversely related to iron availability in culture media supplemented with iron chelators or with FeCl3. Co-inoculation of interfering strains with Pss onto leaves increased the number of resultant disease lesions over twofold compared with that on plants inoculated with Pss alone. Transposon-generated mutants of interfering strains in which QS inhibition was blocked did not increase disease when co-inoculated with Pss. Increased disease incidence was also not observed when a non-motile mutant of Pss was co-inoculated onto plants with QS interfering bacteria suggesting that these strains enhanced the motility of Pss in an iron-dependent manner, leading to an apparent increase in virulence of this pathogen. Considerable cross-talk mediated by iron scavenging apparently occurs on plants, thereby altering the behaviour of bacteria such as Pss that exhibit important QS-dependent traits in this habitat. [source]