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A Novel Regulatory Role of HrpD6 in Regulating hrp-hrc-hpa Genes in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola

September 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  9
Pages  1,086 - 1,101

Yu-Rong Li,1 Hua-Song Zou,1 Yi-Zhou Che,2 Yi-Ping Cui,2 Wei Guo,2 Li-Fang Zou,1 Subhadeep Chatterjee,3 Eulandria M. Biddle,4 Ching-Hong Yang,4 and Gong-You Chen1,2

1School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiaotong University/Key Laboratory of Urban (South) by Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai, 200240, China; 2College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Crop Diseases and Pests, Ministry of Education of China, Nanjing, 210095, China; 3Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, 500 001, India; 4Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53211, U.S.A.

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Accepted 11 May 2011.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, the causal agent of bacterial leaf streak in the model plant rice, possesses a hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (hrp), hrp-conserved (hrc), hrp-associated (hpa) cluster (hrp-hrc-hpa) that encodes a type III secretion system (T3SS) through which T3SS effectors are injected into host cells to cause disease or trigger plant defenses. Mutations in this cluster usually abolish the bacterial ability to cause hypersensitive response in nonhost tobacco and pathogenicity in host rice. In Xanthomonas spp., these genes are generally assumed to be regulated by the key master regulators HrpG and HrpX. However, we present evidence that, apart from HrpG and HrpX, HrpD6 is also involved in regulating the expression of hrp genes. Interestingly, the expression of hpa2, hpa1, hpaB, hrcC, and hrcT is positively controlled by HrpD6. Transcriptional expression assays demonstrated that the expression of the hrcC, hrpD5, hrpE, and hpa3 genes was not completely abolished by hrpG and hrpX mutations. As observed in analysis of their corresponding mutants, HrpG and HrpX exhibit contrasting gene regulation, particularly for hpa2 and hrcT. Other two-component system regulators (Zur, LrpX, ColR/S, and Trh) did not completely inhibit the expression of hrcC, hrpD5, hrpE, and hpa3. Immunoblotting assays showed that the secretion of HrpF, which is an HpaB-independent translocator, is not affected by the mutation in hrpD6. However, the mutation in hrpD6 affects the secretion of an HpaB-dependent TAL effector, AvrXa27. These novel findings suggest that, apart from HrpG and HrpX, HrpD6 plays important roles not only in the regulation of hrp genes but also in the secretion of TAL effectors.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society