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Evidence Against a Direct Antimicrobial Role of H2O2 in the Infection of Plants by Erwinia chrysanthemi

April 2000 , Volume 13 , Number  4
Pages  421 - 429

Eugenio Miguel , César Poza-Carrión , Emilia López-Solanilla , Isabel Aguilar , Arancha Llama-Palacios , Francisco García-Olmedo , and Pablo Rodríguez-Palenzuela

Departamento de Biotecnología - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E. T. S. Ingenieros Agrónomos, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, E-28040 Madrid, Spain


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Accepted 13 December 1999.

We have investigated the role of bacterial resistance to oxidative stress in pathogenesis. The oxyR gene from the pathogenic bacterium Erwinia chrysanthemi has been characterized. It is closely related to that found in Es-cherichia coli (88% overall amino acid identity). An E. chrysanthemi oxyR mutant strain was constructed by marker exchange. After induction with a sublethal dose of H2O2, this mutant was more sensitive to H2O2 and showed reduced levels of catalase and glutathione reductase activities, compared with the wild type. The oxyR mutant was unable to form individual colonies on agar plates unless catalase was added exogenously. However, it retained full virulence in potato tubers and tobacco leaves. These results suggest that the host-produced H2O2 has no direct antimicrobial effect on the interaction of E. chrysanthemi with the two plant species.


Additional keywords: active oxygen species, phytopathogenic bacteria.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society