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Plant J. 2005 Oct;44(1):139-54.

Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato type III effectors AvrPto and AvrPtoB promote ethylene-dependent cell death in tomato.

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Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853-1801, USA.


The type III secretion system (TTSS) of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) injects into the plant cell effector proteins that play an essential role in the formation of bacterial speck disease. To investigate the molecular roles of TTSS effectors in disease formation, we used a cDNA microarray to analyze the expression of approximately 8600 random tomato genes in response to wild-type Pst strain DC3000 and a mutant lacking a functional TTSS. Many of the differentially expressed genes identified encode proteins associated with hormone response or hormone biosynthesis pathways. Using isogenic mutant strains of DC3000, we monitored host transcriptional changes in response to the TTSS effector proteins AvrPto and AvrPtoB, both of which are important virulence factors on susceptible tomato lines. We found that AvrPto and AvrPtoB induce a set of host genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis and signaling, and in particular they regulate the expression of two genes, LeACO1 and LeACO2, encoding the ethylene-forming enzyme ACC oxidase. Analysis of transgenic tomato lines with diminished ACC oxidase activity revealed that ethylene production by the host is required for the full virulence activity of both AvrPto and AvrPtoB. AvrPto and AvrPtoB therefore appear to promote enhanced disease in tomato leaves, in part, by upregulating genes involved in ethylene production.

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