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Mutagenesis of all Eight avr Genes in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris Had No Detected Effect on Pathogenicity, But One avr Gene Affected Race Specificity

December 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  12
Pages  1,306 - 1,317

Adriana Castañeda , Joseph D. Reddy , Basma El-Yacoubi , and Dean W. Gabriel

Plant Molecular and Cell Biology Program, Plant Pathology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.


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Accepted 2 September 2005.

Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify genes present in the systemic crucifer black rot pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris 528T but missing from the nonsystemic crucifer leaf spot pathogen, X. campestris pv. armoraciae 417. Among the DNA fragments unique to 528T was Xcc2109, one of eight putative avr genes identified in the published 528T genome (NC_003902). Individual and sequential deletion, insertion mutations, or both of all eight 528T avr gene loci were made, but no change in pathogenicity was observed with any combination of avr mutations, including a strain with all eight avr genes deleted. However, insertion or deletion mutants affecting the Xcc2109 locus lost avirulence (i.e., became virulent) on Florida Mustard, an X. campestris pv. campestris race-determining, differential host. The Xcc2109 open reading frame as annotated was cloned and found to be nonfunctional. A longer gene, encompassing Xcc2109 and here designated avrXccFM, was cloned and found to complement the Xcc2109 mutants and to confer avirulence to two additional wild-type X. campestris pv. campestris strains, thereby changing their races. Resistance in Florida Mustard to 528T strains carrying avrXccFM occurred without a typical hypersensitive response (HR) on leaves, although a vascular HR was observed in seedlings.


Additional keywords: chaperones, effectors, gene-for-gene, hrp, horizontal transfer, PCR, splice-overlap, type III secretion.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society