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Molecular Determinants Required for the Avirulence Function of AvrPphB in Bean and Other Plants

March 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  3
Pages  292 - 300

Anastasia P. Tampakaki , 1 Marina Bastaki , 1 , 3 John W. Mansfield , 2 and Nickolas J. Panopoulos 1 , 3

1Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Vassilika Vouton, P. O. Box 1527, 71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece; 2Department of Agricultural Sciences, Imperial College, Wye, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5AH, UK; 3Department of Biology, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208 Vassilika Vouton 71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

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Accepted 30 November 2001.

The avirulence gene avrPphB from Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola determines incompatibility, manifested as a hypersensitive reaction (HR), on bean cultivars carrying the R3 resistance gene and also confers avirulence on other plants. The AvrPphB protein carries an embedded consensus myristoylation motif and is cleaved in bacteria and certain plants to yield fragments of about 6 and 28 kDa. We investigated plant recognition and type III translocation determinants in AvrPphB by constructing three N-terminally truncated and two site-directed mutants carrying substitutions in the conserved G63 residue of the myristoy-lation motif, which lies adjacent to the proteolytic cleavage site. The peptides were either delivered to plant cells by pseudomonads or were expressed transiently in planta via the Agrobacterium tumefaciens or Potato virus X. The 63 amino terminal residues were required for type III-mediated translocation from Pseudomonas strains to the plant, but were partially dispensable for effector recognition following in planta expression. Substitution of the G63 residue resulted in differential HR phenotypes in two different R3 cultivars of bean and abolished effector processing in Pseudomonas strains. Agrobacterium-mediated expression of the mutant proteins elicited HR in resistant bean hosts and in tomato but elicited no reaction in Nicotiana species.

Additional keywords: pathogenicity , receptor , signaling , type III secretion.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society