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Analysis of the LacI Family Regulators of Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937, Involvement in the Bacterial Phytopathogenicity

November 2008 , Volume 21 , Number  11
Pages  1,471 - 1,481

Frédérique Van Gijsegem,1 Aleksandra Wlodarczyk,2 Amandine Cornu,2 Sylvie Reverchon,2 and Nicole Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat2

1Laboratoire Interactions Plantes Pathogènes, UMR217 INRA/AgroParisTech/UPMC Univ Paris 6, 16 rue Claude Bernard, 75231 Paris, Cedex 05, France; 2Univ Lyon, F-69622, Lyon, Université Lyon 1 Villeurbanne, INSA de Lyon F-69621 Villeurbanne, CNRS UMR5240 Microbiologie Adaptation et Pathogénie, bat Lwoff, 10 rue Dubois, Domaine Scientifique de la Doua, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

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Accepted 26 June 2008.

Analysis of the regulators of the LacI family was performed in order to identify those potentially involved in pathogenicity of Erwinia chrysanthemi (Dickeya dadantii). Among the 18 members of the LacI family, the function of 11 members is either known or predicted and only 7 members have, as yet, no proposed function. Inactivation of these seven genes, called lfaR, lfbR, lfcR, lfdR, lfeR, lffR, and lfgR, demonstrated that four of them are important for plant infection. The lfaR and lfcR mutants showed a reduced virulence on chicory, Saintpaulia sp., and Arabidopsis. The lfeR mutant showed a reduced virulence on Arabidopsis. The lfdR mutant was more efficient than the wild-type strain in initiating maceration on Saintpaulia sp. The genetic environment of each regulator was examined to detect adjacent genes potentially involved in a common function. Construction of transcriptional fusions in these neighboring genes demonstrated that five regulators, LfaR, LfcR, LfeR, LffR, and LfgR, act as repressors of adjacent genes. Analysis of these fusions also indicated that the genes controlled by LfaR, LfcR, LfgR, and LffR are expressed during plant infection. Moreover, addition of crude plant extracts to culture medium demonstrated that the expression of the LfaR- and LfgR-controlled genes is specifically induced by plant components.

Additional keywords:induction, in planta expression, regulation.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society