1Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5502, U.S.A.; 2National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
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Accepted 12 May 2006.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 is a model pathogen infecting tomato and Arabidopsis plants. Genes encoding the type III secretion system and substrate proteins (collectively called TTSS genes) of this bacterium are induced in plants and in minimal medium (MM). The induction of TTSS genes is mediated by HrpL, an alternative sigma factor recognizing the hrp box in the promoter of TTSS genes. The transcription of hrpL is activated by HrpR and HrpS, two homologous DNA-binding proteins encoded by the hrpRS operon. Microarray analysis was conducted to evaluate the DC3000 genes regulated by hrpL and hrpRS in MM. The analysis identified a number of novel hrpL-activated genes with a putative TTSS-independent function. Genes regulated by hrpL were mostly regulated by hrpRS in the same manner, but a large number of genes regulated by hrpRS were hrpL-independent, indicating that hrpL represents one branch of the regulatory pathways downstream of hrpRS. The induction of the TTSS genes was associated with downregulation of the housekeeping genes, indicating that the activation of the TTSS has a cost on the basic cellular activities. The novel genes and pathways identified by the microarray provide new insight into the bacterial functions coordinating with the TTSS.
© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society