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rpfF Mutants of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Are Deficient for Virulence and Growth Under Low Iron Conditions

May 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  5
Pages  463 - 471

Subhadeep Chatterjee and Ramesh V. Sonti

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad-500 007, India

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Accepted 23 January 2002.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae causes bacterial leaf blight, a serious disease of rice. In the related bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, the rpfF gene is involved in production of a diffusible extracellular factor (DSF) that positively regulates synthesis of virulence-associated functions like extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) and extracellular enzymes. Transposon insertions in the rpfF homolog of X. oryzae pv. oryzae are deficient for virulence and production of a DSF but are proficient for EPS and extracellular enzyme production. The rpfF X. oryzae pv. oryzae mutants exhibit an unusual tetracycline susceptibility phenotype in which exogenous iron supplementation is required for phenotypic expression of a tetracycline resistance determinant that is encoded on an introduced plasmid. The rpfF X. oryzae pv. oryzae mutants also overproduce one or more siderophores and exhibit a growth deficiency under low iron conditions as well as in the presence of reducing agents that are expected to promote the conversion of Fe+3 to Fe+2. Exogenous iron supplementation promotes migration of rpfF X. oryzae pv. oryzae mutants in rice leaves. The results suggest that rpfF may be involved in controlling an iron-uptake system of X. oryzae pv. oryzae and that an inability to cope with the conditions of low iron availability in the host may be the reason for the virulence deficiency of the rpfF X. oryzae pv. oryzae mutants.

Additional keyword: cell-cell signaling .

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society