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Characterization of the salA, syrF, and syrG Regulatory Genes Located at the Right Border of the Syringomycin Gene Cluster of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae

January 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  1
Pages  43 - 53

Shi-En Lu , 1 Brenda K. Scholz-Schroeder , 1 and Dennis C. Gross 2

1Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, 99164-6430 U.S.A.; 2Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M University, 2132 TAMU, College Station, 77843-2132 U.S.A.

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Accepted 7 September 2001.

Sequence analysis of the right border of the syr gene cluster of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strain B301D revealed the presence of the salA gene 8,113 bp downstream of syrE. The predicted SalA protein of strain B301D differs by one amino acid from that of strain B728a. Two homologs of salA, designated syrF and syrG, were identified between syrE and salA. All three proteins contain helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motifs at their C termini and exhibit homology to regulatory proteins of the LuxR family. A salA mutant failed to produce syringomycin, whereas syrF and syrG mutants produced 12 and 50%, respectively, of syringomycin relative to the wild-type strain. The salA, syrF, and syrG mutants were significantly reduced in virulence, forming small, nonspreading lesions in immature cherry fruits. Translational fusions to the uidA gene were constructed to evaluate expression of syrB1 in regulatory mutant backgrounds and to determine the relationship among the three regulatory loci. Expression of a syrB1::uidA fusion required functional salA and syrF genes and, in series, the expression of a syrF::uidA fusion required a functional salA gene. These results demonstrate that salA is located upstream of syrF in the regulatory hierarchy controlling syringomycin production and virulence in P. syringae pv. syringae.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society