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Multiple Approaches to a Complete Inventory of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 Type III Secretion System Effector Proteins

November 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  11
Pages  1,180 - 1,192

Lisa M. Schechter , 1 Monica Vencato , 1 Katy L. Jordan , 1 Sarah E. Schneider , 1 David J. Schneider , 2 and Alan Collmer 1

1Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, U.S.A.; 2United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Ithaca, NY 14853 U.S.A.

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Accepted 21 June 2006.

Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 is a pathogen of tomato and Arabidopsis that translocates virulence effector proteins into host cells via a type III secretion system (T3SS). Many effector-encoding hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (Hrp) outer protein (hop) genes have been identified previously in DC3000 using bioinformatic methods based on Hrp promoter sequences and characteristic N-terminal amino acid patterns that are associated with T3SS substrates. To approach completion of the Hop/effector inventory in DC3000, 44 additional candidates were tested by the Bordetella pertussis calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase (Cya) translocation reporter assay; 10 of the high-probability candidates were confirmed as T3SS substrates. Several previously predicted hop genes were tested for their ability to be expressed in an HrpL-dependent manner in culture or to be expressed in planta. The data indicate that DC3000 harbors 53 hop/avr genes and pseudogenes (encoding both injected effectors and T3SS substrates that probably are released to the apoplast); 33 of these genes are likely functional in DC3000, 12 are nonfunctional members of valid Hop families, and 8 are less certain regarding their production at functional levels. Growth of DC3000 in tomato and Arabidopsis Col-0 was not impaired by constitutive expression of repaired versions of two hops that were disrupted naturally by transposable elements or of hop genes that are naturally cryptic. In summary, DC3000 carries a complex mixture of active and inactive hop genes, and the hop genes in P. syringae can be identified efficiently by bioinformatic methods; however, a precise inventory of the subset of Hops that are important in pathogenesis awaits more knowledge based on mutant phenotypes and functions within plants.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society