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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Apr;44(1):73-88.

Identification of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato genes induced during infection of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Biology, Campus Box 1137, Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive, St Louis, MO 63130, USA.


Phytopathogenic bacteria possess a large number of genes that allow them to grow and cause disease on plants. Many of these genes should be induced when the bacteria come in contact with plant tissue. We used a modified in vivo expression technology (IVET) approach to identify genes from the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato that are induced upon infection of Arabidopsis thaliana and isolated over 500 in planta-expressed (ipx) promoter fusions. Sequence analysis of 79 fusions revealed several known and potential virulence genes, including hrp/hrc, avr and coronatine biosynthetic genes. In addition, we identified metabolic genes presumably important for adaptation to growth in plant tissue, as well as several genes with unknown function that may encode novel virulence factors. Many ipx fusions, including several corresponding to novel genes, are dependent on HrpL, an alternative RNA polymerase sigma factor that regulates the expression of virulence genes. Expression analysis indicated that several ipx fusions are strongly induced upon inoculation into plant tissue. Disruption of one ipx gene, conserved effector locus (CEL) orf1, encoding a putative lytic murein transglycosylase, resulted in decreased virulence of P. syringae. Our results demonstrate that this screen can be used successfully to isolate genes that are induced in planta, including many novel genes potentially involved in pathogenesis.

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