1Department of Plant Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978; and 2Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O.B. 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
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Accepted 21 March 1997.
The pathogenicity-associated plasmid (pPATH) of Erwinia herbicola pv. gypsophilae (Ehg), which is present only in pathogenic strains, contains a gene cluster encoding indole-3-acetic acid and cytokinin biosynthesis. The transposon-reporter Tn3-Spice was used to generate nonpathogenic mutants on two overlapping cosmids, pLA150 and pLA352, of the pPATH. A cluster of such mutations, which spanned 16 kb, mapped approximately 15 kb from the gene cluster involved in phytohormone biosynthesis. Non-pathogenic mutants also failed to elicit the hypersensitive reaction (HR) on tobacco. Pathogenicity and HR were restored concomitantly to these mutants by in trans complementation with wild-type Ehg DNA. A 3.8-kb HindIII DNA fragment that complemented the hrp mutants was sequenced and six complete and two partial open reading frames (ORFs) were identified. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of the eight ORFs showed striking homology and co-linearity with hrp genes of E. amylovora as well as with other plant and mammalian pathogenic bacterial genes encoding proteins of the type III secretion system. Limited DNA sequencing at various sites on the remaining 11-kb region of pLA352 also showed high identity to Hrp proteins of E. amylovora, E. stewartii, and Pseudomonas syringae. These results suggest that hrp genes are mandatory for gall formation by E. herbicola pv. gypsophilae.
© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society