Submitted to: Journal of Bacteriology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Schenk, A., Berger, M., Keith, L.M., Bender, C.L., Muskhelishvili, G., Ullrich, M.S. 2006. The algT gene of Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea and new insights into the transcriptional organization of the algT-muc gene cluster. Journal of Bacteriology. 188(23):8013-8021 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The phytopathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea infects soybean plants and causes bacterial blight. In addition to P. syringae, the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the soil bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii produce the exopolysaccharide alginate, copolymer of D-mannuronic and L-guluronic acids. Alginate production in P. syringae has been associated with increased fitness and virulence in planta. Alginate biosynthesis is tightly controlled by proteins encoded by the algT-muc regulatory gene cluster in P. aeruginosa and A. vinelandii. These genes encode the alternative sigma factor AlgT, its anti-sigma factors MucA and MucB, MucC, a protein with a controversial function that is agsent in P. syringae, and MucD, a periplasmic serine protease and homolog of HtrA in Escherichia coli. We compared an alginate-deficient algT mutant of P. syringae pv. glycinea with an alginate-producing derivative in which algT is intact. The alginate producing derivative grew significantly slower in vitro growth but showed increased epiphytic fitness and better symptom development in planta. Evaluation of expression levels for algT, mucA, mucB, mucD, and algD, which encodes an alginate biosynthesis gtene, showed that mucD transcription is not dependent on AlgT in P. syringae in vitro. Promoter mapping using primer extension experiments confirmed this finding. Results of reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated that algT, mucA, and mucB are cotranscribed as an operon in P. syringae. Northern blot analysis revealed that mucD was expressed as a 1.75-kb monocistronic mRNA in P. syringae.