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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Dec;66(12):5123-7.

Biological role of xanthomonadin pigments in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris.

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Plant Pathology, Division, Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-2339, USA.


Previous studies have indicated that the yellow pigments (xanthomonadins) produced by phytopathogenic Xanthomonas bacteria are unimportant during pathogenesis but may be important for protection against photobiological damage. We used a Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris parent strain, single-site transposon insertion mutant strains, and chromosomally restored mutant strains to define the biological role of xanthomonadins. Although xanthomonadin mutant strains were comparable to the parent strain for survival when exposed to UV light; after their exposure to the photosensitizer toluidine blue and visible light, survival was greatly reduced. Chromosomally restored mutant strains were completely restored for survival in these conditions. Likewise, epiphytic survival of a xanthomonadin mutant strain was greatly reduced in conditions of high light intensity, whereas a chromosomally restored mutant strain was comparable to the parent strain for epiphytic survival. These results are discussed with respect to previous results, and a model for epiphytic survival of X. campestris pv. campestris is presented.

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