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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2001 Oct;14(10):1223-34.

Biological activity of harpin produced by Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii.

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Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1087, USA.


Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii causes Stewart's wilt of sweet corn. A hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (Hrp) secretion system is needed to produce water-soaking and wilting symptoms in corn and to cause a hypersensitive response (HR) in tobacco. Sequencing of the hrp cluster revealed a putative harpin gene, hrpN. The product of this gene was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and shown to elicit the HR in tobacco and systemic resistance in radishes. The protein was designated HrpN(Pnss). Like other harpins, it was heat stable and protease sensitive, although it was three- to fourfold less active biologically than Erwinia amylovora harpin. We used antibodies to purified HrpN(Pnss) to verify that hrpN mutants could not produce harpin. This protein was secreted into the culture supernatant and was produced by strains of P. stewartii subsp. indologenes. In order to determine the importance of HrpN(Pnss) in pathogenesis on sweet corn, three hrpN::Tn5 mutants were compared with the wild-type strain with 50% effective dose, disease severity, response time, and growth rate in planta as parameters. In all tests, HrpN(Pnss) was not required for infection, growth, or virulence in corn or endophytic growth in related grasses.

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