Microbiology (Reading, England)

Systems and synthetic biology perspective of the versatile plant-pathogenic and polysaccharide-producing bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.

PMID 28795660


Bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas are a major group of plant pathogens. They are hazardous to important crops and closely related to human pathogens. Being collectively a major focus of molecular phytopathology, an increasing number of diverse and intricate mechanisms are emerging by which they communicate, interfere with host signalling and keep competition at bay. Interestingly, they are also biotechnologically relevant polysaccharide producers. Systems biotechnology techniques have revealed their central metabolism and a growing number of remarkable features. Traditional analyses of Xanthomonas metabolism missed the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway (glycolysis) as being a route by which energy and molecular building blocks are derived from glucose. As a consequence of the emerging full picture of their metabolism process, xanthomonads were discovered to have three alternative catabolic pathways and they use an unusual and reversible phosphofructokinase as a key enzyme. In this review, we summarize the synthetic and systems biology methods and the bioinformatics tools applied to reconstruct their metabolic network and reveal the dynamic fluxes within their complex carbohydrate metabolism. This is based on insights from omics disciplines; in particular, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Analysis of high-throughput omics data facilitates the reconstruction of organism-specific large- and genome-scale metabolic networks. Reconstructed metabolic networks are fundamental to the formulation of metabolic models that facilitate the simulation of actual metabolic activities under specific environmental conditions.