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Proteomics. 2007 Oct;7(19):3527-37.

Host-extract induced changes in the secretome of the plant pathogenic bacterium Pectobacterium atrosepticum.

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Department of Applied Biology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Pectobacterium atrosepticum is a Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacterium that causes rotting in potato stems and tubers. The secreted proteins of this pathogen were analyzed with proteomics from culture supernatant of cells grown in minimal medium supplemented with host extracts. More than 40 proteins were identified, among them known virulence determinants, such as pectic enzymes, metalloprotease, and virulence protein Svx, along with flagella proteins, GroEL and cyclophilin-type chaperones and several hypothetical proteins or proteins with unknown function. Some of the identified proteins may be involved in utilization of nutrients or transport of minerals. Northern and real-time RT-PCR analyses suggested that most of the proteins upregulated by plant extract were transcriptionally regulated. Among the identified proteins were VgrG and four homologs of hemolysin-coregulated proteins (Hcps). A mutant strain lacking one of the hcp genes was not affected in virulence, while a bacterial strain overexpressing the same gene was shown to have increased virulence, which suggests that these proteins may be new virulence determinants of P. atrosepticum. Comparison of the secretomes of wild type cells and hrcC mutant defective in Type III secretion suggested that the production of the identified proteins was independent of functional Type III secretion system.

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