Link to home

Impact of Temperature on In Planta Expression of Genes Involved in Synthesis of the Pseudomonas syringae Phytotoxin Coronatine

October 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  10
Pages  1,095 - 1,102

Helge Weingart , 1 Stephan Stubner , 2 Alexander Schenk , 1 and Matthias S. Ullrich 1

1International University Bremen, School of Engineering and Sciences, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany; 2Max-Planck-Institute for terrestrial Microbiology, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, 35043 Marburg, Germany

Go to article:
Accepted 4 June 2004.

Coronatine (COR) is a chlorosis-inducing phytotoxin produced by the plant-pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to investigate in vitro and in planta expression of COR genes by two model organisms, P. syringae pv. glycinea PG4180, a pathogen of soybean, and P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, a pathogen of tomato and crucifers. Previously, it was shown in vitro that the cma operon involved in COR synthesis in PG4180 is expressed in a temperature-dependent manner, with maximal rates at 18°C and low activity at 28°C. However, nothing was known about the influence of temperature on the expression of COR biosynthetic genes in planta. Therefore, transcriptional fusions of the PG4180 and DC3000 cma promoter regions to a promoterless egfp gene were constructed and expressed in both P. syringae strains. The fluorescence patterns in response to temperature during growth of a strain in vitro were consistent with its COR production and the cma transcript abundance as revealed by RNA dot blot hybridization. Quantification of fluorescence indicated that cma promoter activity was dependent on the genetic background of the host strain. Expression of cmaegfp in PG4180 was temperature-dependent in minimal medium as well as inside the plant tissue. In contrast, transcription of the cma operon was not significantly affected by temperature in DC3000. However, cells of DC3000 harboring the cmaegfp fusions showed higher levels of fluorescence when recovered from infected host plants compared with cells grown in minimal medium. These results indicate that the signals for induction of COR biosynthesis differ significantly in PG4180 and DC3000.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society