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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2003;41:455-82. Epub 2003 Apr 29.

Quorum sensing in plant-pathogenic bacteria.

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1
Department of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4163, USA. svbodman@canr.uconn.edu

Abstract

Quorum sensing (QS) allows bacteria to assess their local population density and/or physical confinement via the secretion and detection of small, diffusible signal molecules. This review describes how phytopathogenic bacteria have incorporated QS mechanisms into complex regulatory cascades that control genes for pathogenicity and colonization of host surfaces. Traits regulated by QS include the production of extracellular polysaccharides, degradative enzymes, antibiotics, siderophores, and pigments, as well as Hrp protein secretion, Ti plasmid transfer, motility, biofilm formation, and epiphytic fitness. Since QS regulatory systems are often required for pathogenesis, interference with QS signaling may offer a means of controlling bacterial diseases of plants. Several bacterial pathogens of plants that have been intensively studied and have revealed information of both fundamental and practical importance are reviewed here: Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Pantoea stewartii, Erwinia carotovora, Ralstonia solanacearum, Pseudomonas syringae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Xanthomonas campestris.

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