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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320995

Title: AlgU controls expression of virulence genes in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000

item Markel, Eric
item Stodghill, Paul
item BAO, ZHONGMENG - Cornell University
item MYERS, CHRIS - Cornell University
item Swingle, Bryan

Submitted to: Journal of Bacteriology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/14/2016
Publication Date: 8/11/2016
Citation: Markel, E.J., Stodghill, P., Bao, Z., Myers, C., Swingle, B.M. 2016. AlgU controls expression of virulence genes in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Journal of Bacteriology. 198(17):2330-2344.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteria that cause disease in plants are more destructive when they are able to sense and adapt to different conditions. In this study, we describe the results of experiments demonstrating one way that bacteria sense the plant environment and turn on a specific set of genes. We found that this function is critical to bacterial growth and disease in plants. This work suggests that it could serve as an effective target for strategies to control plant diseases caused by a wide range of bacteria.

Technical Abstract: Plant pathogenic bacteria are able to integrate information about their environment and adjust gene expression to provide adaptive functions. AlgU, an ECF sigma factor encoded by Pseudomonas syringae, controls expression of genes for alginate biosynthesis and is active while the bacteria are associated with plants. We found that AlgU is an important virulence factor for P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 but alginate production is dispensable for disease. This implies that AlgU regulates additional genes, besides those for alginate biosynthesis. We used RNA-seq to characterize the AlgU regulon and ChIP-seq to identify AlgU regulated promoters associated with genes directly controlled by this sigma factor. The work presented here provides an important step in understanding the scope of AlgU regulation in Pseudomonas syringae and identifies a range of functions that are known to influence growth in plants and disease.