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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2010 Mar;34(2):107-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00192.x. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Regulation and secretion of Xanthomonas virulence factors.

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Genetics Department, Institute of Biology, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.


Plant pathogenic bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas cause a variety of diseases in economically important monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous crop plants worldwide. Successful infection and bacterial multiplication in the host tissue often depend on the virulence factors secreted including adhesins, polysaccharides, LPS and degradative enzymes. One of the key pathogenicity factors is the type III secretion system, which injects effector proteins into the host cell cytosol to manipulate plant cellular processes such as basal defense to the benefit of the pathogen. The coordinated expression of bacterial virulence factors is orchestrated by quorum-sensing pathways, multiple two-component systems and transcriptional regulators such as Clp, Zur, FhrR, HrpX and HpaR. Furthermore, virulence gene expression is post-transcriptionally controlled by the RNA-binding protein RsmA. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the infection strategies and regulatory networks controlling secreted virulence factors from Xanthomonas species.

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