Diffusible signal factor family signals provide a fitness advantage to Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in interspecies competition
Diffusible signal factor (DSF) represents a new class of widely conserved quorum sensing signals, which regulates various biological functions through intra- or interspecies signaling. The previous studies identified that there is an antagonistic interaction between Xanthomonas and Bacillus species bacteria in natural ecosystem, but the detailed molecular mechanism of interspecies competition is not clear. This study showed that Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) interfered with morphological transition and sporulation of Bacillus thuringiensis in mixed cultures, whereas abrogation of the DSF synthase RpfF reduced the interference. DSF inhibited B. thuringiensis cell division and sporulation through modulation of ftsZ, which encodes an important cell division protein in bacterial cells. In addition, RpfF is essential for production of six DSF-family signals in Xcc, which employ the same signaling pathways to regulate biological functions in Xcc and play similar effects on reduction of cell division, sporulation and antibiotic resistance of B. thuringiensis. Furthermore, abrogation of RpfF decreased the competitive capability of Xcc against B. thuringiensis on the surface of Chinese cabbage leaves. Our findings provide new insights into the role of DSF-family signals in interspecies competition and depict molecular mechanisms with which Xcc competes with B. thuringiensis.