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Microbiology. 2000 Oct;146 ( Pt 10):2457-68.

Temperature-responsive genetic loci in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, 35043 Marburg, Germany.


Plant-pathogenic bacteria may sense variations in environmental factors, such as temperature, to adapt to plant-associated habitats during pathogenesis or epiphytic growth. The bacterial blight pathogen of soybean, Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea PG4180, preferentially produces the phytotoxin coronatine at 18 degrees C and infects the host plant under conditions of low temperature and high humidity. A miniTn5-based promoterless glucuronidase (uidA) reporter gene was used to identify genetic loci of PG4180 preferentially expressed at 18 or 28 degrees C. Out of 7500 transposon mutants, 61 showed thermoregulated uidA expression as determined by a three-step screening procedure. Two-thirds of these mutants showed an increased reporter gene expression at 18 degrees C whilst the remainder exhibited higher uidA expression at 28 degrees C. MiniTn5-uidA insertion loci from these mutants were subcloned and their nucleotide sequences were determined. Several of the mutants induced at 18 degrees C contained the miniTn5-uidA insertion within the 32.8 kb coronatine biosynthetic gene cluster. Among the other mutants with increased uidA expression at 18 degrees C, insertions were found in genes encoding formaldehyde dehydrogenase, short-chain dehydrogenase and mannuronan C-5-epimerase, in a plasmid-borne replication protein, and in the hrpT locus, involved in pathogenicity of P. syringae. Among the mutants induced at 28 degrees C, insertions disrupted loci with similarities to a repressor of conjugal plasmid transfer, UV resistance determinants, an isoflavanoid-degrading enzyme, a HU-like DNA-binding protein, two additional regulatory proteins, a homologue of bacterial adhesins, transport proteins, LPS synthesis enzymes and two proteases. Genetic loci from 13 mutants did not show significant similarities to any database entries. Results of plant inoculations showed that three of the mutants tested were inhibited in symptom development and in planta multiplication rates. Temperature-shift experiments suggested that all of the identified loci showed a rather slow induction of expression upon change of temperature.

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