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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59684. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059684. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

The HopQ1 effector's nucleoside hydrolase-like domain is required for bacterial virulence in arabidopsis and tomato, but not host recognition in tobacco.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.


Bacterial pathogens deliver multiple effector proteins into host cells to facilitate bacterial growth. HopQ1 is an effector from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 that is conserved across multiple bacterial pathogens which infect plants. HopQ1's central region possesses some homology to nucleoside hydrolases, but possesses an alternative aspartate motif not found in characterized enzymes. A structural model was generated for HopQ1 based on the E. coli RihB nucleoside hydrolase and the role of HopQ1's potential catalytic residues for promoting bacterial virulence and recognition in Nicotiana tabacum was investigated. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing HopQ1 exhibit enhanced disease susceptibility to DC3000. HopQ1 can also promote bacterial virulence on tomato when naturally delivered from DC3000. HopQ1's nucleoside hydrolase-like domain alone is sufficient to promote bacterial virulence, and putative catalytic residues are required for virulence promotion during bacterial infection of tomato and in transgenic Arabidopsis lines. HopQ1 is recognized and elicits cell death when transiently expressed in N. tabacum. Residues required to promote bacterial virulence were dispensable for HopQ1's cell death promoting activities in N. tabacum. Although HopQ1 has some homology to nucleoside hydrolases, we were unable to detect HopQ1 enzymatic activity or nucleoside binding capability using standard substrates. Thus, it is likely that HopQ1 promotes pathogen virulence by hydrolyzing alternative ribose-containing substrates in planta.

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