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Molecular Properties of the Xanthomonas AvrRxv Effector and Global Transcriptional Changes Determined by Its Expression in Resistant Tomato Plants

April 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  4
Pages  300 - 310

Arale Bonshtien , 1 Atar Lev , 1 Avi Gibly , 1 Paul Debbie , 2 Adi Avni , 1 and Guido Sessa 1

1Department of Plant Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, 69978 Tel-Aviv, Israel; 2Center for Gene Expression Profiling, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A.

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Accepted 7 December 2004.

The Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria avirulence gene avrRxv specifies resistance on the tomato line Hawaii 7998 by interacting with three nondominant plant resistance genes. AvrRxv molecular properties that impinge on its avirulence activity were characterized and transcriptional changes caused by AvrRxv expression in resistant tomato plants were extensively examined. AvrRxv localized predominantly to the cytoplasm and possibly in association with plasma and nuclear membranes in both resistant and susceptible tomato plants. The AvrRxv cysteine protease catalytic core was found to be essential for host recognition, because introduction of mutations in this domain affected the ability of AvrRxv to elicit a hypersensitive response and the inhibition of bacterial growth in resistant plants. In addition, expression profiles were analyzed for approximately 8,600 tomato genes in resistant plants challenged with X. campestris pv. vesicatoria strains expressing wild-type AvrRxv or a catalytic core AvrRxv mutant. In all, 420 genes were identified as differentially modulated by the expression of a functional AvrRxv, including over 15 functional classes of proteins and a large number of transcription factors and signaling components. Findings of this study allow the development of new hypotheses about the molecular basis of recognition between AvrRxv and the corresponding resistance proteins, and set the stage for the dissection of signaling and cellular responses triggered in tomato plants by this avirulence factor.

Additional keywords: plant disease resistance, type III effectors.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society