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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jan;72(1):702-12.

Diverse AvrPtoB homologs from several Pseudomonas syringae pathovars elicit Pto-dependent resistance and have similar virulence activities.

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


AvrPtoB is a type III effector protein from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato that physically interacts with the tomato Pto kinase and, depending on the host genotype, either elicits or suppresses programmed cell death associated with plant immunity. We reported previously that avrPtoB-related sequences are present in diverse gram-negative phytopathogenic bacteria. Here we describe characterization of avrPtoB homologs from P. syringae pv. tomato T1, PT23, and JL1065, P. syringae pv. syringae B728a, and P. syringae pv. maculicola ES4326. The avrPtoB homolog from P. syringae pv. maculicola, hopPmaL, was identified previously. The four new genes identified in this study are designated avrPtoB(T1), avrPtoB(PT23), avrPtoB(JL1065), and avrPtoB(B728a). The AvrPtoB homologs exhibit 52 to 66% amino acid identity with AvrPtoB. Transcripts of each of the avrPtoB homologs were detected in the Pseudomonas strains from which they were isolated. Proteins encoded by the homologs were detected in all strains except P. syringae pv. tomato T1, suggesting that T1 suppresses accumulation of AvrPtoB(T1). All of the homologs interacted with the Pto kinase in a yeast two-hybrid system and elicited a Pto-dependent defense response when they were delivered into leaf cells by DC3000DeltaavrPtoDeltaavrPtoB, a P. syringae pv. tomato strain with a deletion of both avrPto and avrPtoB. Like AvrPtoB, all of the homologs enhanced the ability of DC3000DeltaavrPtoDeltaavrPtoB to form lesions on leaves of two susceptible tomato lines. With the exception of HopPmaL which lacks the C-terminal domain, all AvrPtoB homologs suppressed programmed cell death elicited by the AvrPto-Pto interaction in an Agrobacterium-mediated transient assay. Thus, despite their divergent sequences, AvrPtoB homologs from diverse P. syringae pathovars have conserved avirulence and virulence activities similar to AvrPtoB activity.

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