Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jul;29(1):165-77.

Sequence variations in alleles of the avirulence gene avrPphE.R2 from Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola lead to loss of recognition of the AvrPphE protein within bean cells and a gain in cultivar-specific virulence.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Wye College, University of London, Ashford, UK.


The bean halo blight pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (Psph), is differentiated into nine races based on the presence or absence of five avirulence (avr) genes in the bacterium, which interact with corresponding resistance genes. R1-R5, in Phaseolus vulgaris. The resistance gene R2 is matched by avrPphE, which is located adjacent to the cluster of hrp genes that are required for pathogenicity of Psph. Although only races 2, 4, 5 and 7 are avirulent on cultivars with R2 (inducing the hypersensitive response; HR), homologues of avrPphE are present in all races of Psph. DNA sequencing of avrPphE alleles from races of Psph has demonstrated two routes to virulence: via single basepair changes conferring amino acid substitutions in races 1, 3, 6 and 9 and an insertion of 104bp in the allele in race 8. We have demonstrated that these base changes are responsible for the difference between virulence and avirulence by generating transconjugants of a virulent race harbouring plasmids expressing the various alleles of avrPphE. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-directed expression of avrPphE from race 4 in bean leaves induced the HR in a resistance gene-specific manner, suggesting that the AvrPphE protein is alone required for HR induction and is recognized within the plant cell. The allele from race 6, which is inactive if expressed in Psph, elicited a weak HR if expressed in planta, whereas the allele from race 1 did not. Our results suggest that the affinity of interaction between AvrPphE homologues and an unknown plant receptor mediates the severity of the plant's response. Mutation of avrPphE alleles did not affect the ability to colonize bean from a low level of inoculum. The avirulence gene avrPphB, which matches the R3 resistance gene, also caused a gene-specific HR following expression in the plant after delivery by A. tumefaciens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center