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FEBS Lett. 1997 Sep 22;415(1):40-4.

Avirulence gene D of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato may have undergone horizontal gene transfer.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82071-3944, USA.


Avirulence gene D (avrD) is carried on the B-plasmid of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato with plasmid-borne avrD homologs widely distributed among the Pseudomonads. We now report sequences in the soft rot pathogen Erwinia carotovora that cross-hybridize to avrD suggesting a conserved function beyond avirulence. Alternatively, avrD may have been transferred horizontally among species: (i) DNA linked to avrD shows evidence of class II transpositions and contains a novel IS3-related insertion sequence, and (ii) short sequences linked to avrD are similar to pathogenicity genes from a variety of unrelated pathogens. We have also identified the gene cluster that controls B-plasmid stability.

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