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Transposon Mutagenesis Reveals Differential Pathogenesis of Ralstonia solanacearum on Tomato and Arabidopsis

September 2008 , Volume 21 , Number  9
Pages  1,261 - 1,270

Yu-Mei Lin,1 I-Chun Chou,1 Jaw-Fen Wang,2 Fang-I Ho,2 Yu-Ju Chu,1 Pei-Cheng Huang,1 Der-Kang Lu,1 Hwei-Ling Shen,1 Mounira Elbaz,2 Shu-Mei Huang,2 and Chiu-Ping Cheng1

1Graduate Institute of Plant Biology and Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 106, Republic of China; 2AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center, P.O. Box 42, Shanhua, Tainan, Taiwan, 741, Republic of China

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Accepted 12 May 2008.

Ralstonia solanacearum causes a deadly wilting disease on a wide range of crops. To elucidate pathogenesis of this bacterium in different host plants, we set out to identify R. solanacearum genes involved in pathogenesis by screening random transposon insertion mutants of a highly virulent strain, Pss190, on tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana. Mutants exhibiting various decreased virulence levels on these two hosts were identified. Sequence analysis showed that most, but not all, of the identified pathogenesis genes are conserved among distinct R. solanacearum strains. A few of the disrupted loci were not reported previously as being involved in R. solanacearum pathogenesis. Notably, a group of mutants exhibited differential pathogenesis on tomato and Arabidopsis. These results were confirmed by characterizing allelic mutants in one other R. solanacearum strain of the same phylotype. The significantly decreased mutants' colonization in Arabidopsis was found to be correlated with differential pathogenesis on these two plants. Differential requirement of virulence genes suggests adaptation of this bacterium in different host environments. Together, this study reveals commonalities and differences of R. solanacearum pathogenesis on single solanaceous and nonsolanaceous hosts, and provides important new insights into interactions between R. solanacearum and different host plants.

Additional keywords:murI, nlpD, pal, tolA, tolQ.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society