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J Bacteriol. 1990 Sep;172(9):5165-72.

A plant-inducible gene of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris encodes an exocellular component required for growth in the host and hypersensitivity on nonhosts.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616.


Using Tn4431, a transposon that allows transcriptional fusions to a promoterless luciferase (lux) operon, we have isolated a nonpathogenic mutant of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, i.e., JS111, that does not incite any of the black rot symptoms on all tested cruciferous host plants (J. J. Shaw, L. G. Settles, and C. I. Kado, Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. 1:39-45, 1988). In the study reported here, we determined that in contrast to the wild-type strain, JS111 is unable to induce a hypersensitive necrotic response on nonhost plants such as datura, tomato, and cucumber, suggesting that JS111 is a nonpathogenic, nonhypersensitive Hrp mutant. JS111 displayed culture growth rates, exopolysaccharide production, and protease, pectate lysase, cellulase, amylase, and phosphatase activities comparable to those of the wild-type strain. However, the growth of JS111 in host leaves was markedly attenuated. Coinoculation of JS111 with the wild-type strain in cauliflower or radish leaves rescued the growth deficiency of the mutant to normal levels. The locus mutated in JS111 was cloned and named hrpXc, and transcriptional and genetic complementation analyses of the hrpXc locus were conducted. The regulation of hrpXc expression was also investigated in vitro and in planta, using fusions to a lux or chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene. The hrpXc gene was found to be strongly induced in radish leaves. This is the first report and analysis of a hrp locus from a Xanthomonas species.

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