The type six secretion system (T6SS) is a prevalent bacterial weapon delivering toxic effector proteins into nearby competitors. In addition to immunity genes that protect against a particular effector, alternate yet crucial nonspecific defences have also recently been identified. To systematically identify genes influencing T6SS susceptibility in numerous species, we designed a Tn-Seq-based competition assay. Combined with follow-up analyses using E. coli and V. cholerae gene knockout collections, we demonstrate that our Tn-Seq competition technique can be used to identify both immunity and non-immunity defences against the T6SS. We also identify E. coli proteins that facilitate T6SS-mediated cell death, including metabolic genes such as cyaA and gltA, where mutant strains were resistant to attack. Our findings act as a proof-of-concept for the technique while also illuminating novel genes of interest. Since Tn-Seq can be applied in numerous species, our method has broad potential for identifying diverse T6SS defence genes across genomes in a high-throughput manner.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.06.463450