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Mol Plant Pathol. 2009 Nov;10(6):837-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2009.00577.x.

Contributions of the effector gene hopQ1-1 to differences in host range between Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola and P. syringae pv. tabaci.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Via Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia, Italy.


To study the role of type III-secreted effectors in the host adaptation of the tobacco (Nicotiana sp.) pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci, a selection of seven strains was first characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to determine their phylogenetic affinity. MLST revealed that all strains represented a tight phylogenetic group and that the most closely related strain with a completely sequenced genome was the bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) pathogen P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A. Using primers designed to 21 P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A effector genes, it was determined that P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A shared at least 10 effectors with all tested P. syringae pv. tabaci strains. Six of the 11 effectors that failed to amplify from P. syringae pv. tabaci strains were individually expressed in one P. syringae pv. tabaci strain. Although five effectors had no effect on phenotype, growth in planta and disease severity of the transgenic P. syringae pv. tabaci expressing hopQ1-1(Pph1448A) were significantly increased in bean, but reduced in tobacco. We conclude that hopQ1-1 has been retained in P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A, as this effector suppresses immunity in bean, whereas hopQ1-1 is missing from P. syringae pv. tabaci strains because it triggers defences in Nicotiana spp. This provides evidence that fine-tuning effector repertoires during host adaptation lead to a concomitant reduction in virulence in non-host species.

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