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Bioinformatics Correctly Identifies Many Type III Secretion Substrates in the Plant Pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and the Biocontrol Isolate P. fluorescens SBW25

August 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  8
Pages  877 - 888

Boris A. Vinatzer , Joanna Jelenska , and Jean T. Greenberg

Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, 1103 East 57th Street, EBC410, Chicago, IL 60637, U.S.A.

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Accepted 23 March 2005.

The plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae causes disease by secreting a potentially large set of virulence proteins called effectors directly into host cells, their environment, or both, using a type III secretion system (T3SS). Most P.syringae effectors have a common upstream element called the hrp box, and their N-terminal regions have amino acids biases, features that permit their bioinformatic prediction. One of the most prominent biases is a positive serine bias. We previously used the truncated AvrRpt281--255 effector containing a serine-rich stretch from amino acids 81 to 100 as a T3SS reporter. Region 81 to 100 of this reporter does not contribute to the secretion or translocation of AvrRpt2 or to putative effector protein chimeras. Rather, the serine-rich region from the N-terminus of AvrRpt2 is important for protein accumulation in bacteria. Most of the N-terminal region (amino acids 15 to 100) is not essential for secretion in culture or delivery to plants. However, portions of this sequence may increase the efficiency of AvrRpt2 secretion, delivery to plants, or both. Two effectors previously identified with the AvrRpt281--255 reporter were secreted in culture independently of AvrRpt2, validating the use of the C terminus of AvrRpt2 as a T3SS reporter. Finally, using the reduced AvrRpt2101--255 reporter, we confirmed seven predicted effectors from P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, four from P. syringae pv. syringae B728a, and two from P. fluorescens SBW25.

Additional keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, RPS2, hypersensihypersensitive response.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society