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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-5-390

Determinants of Pathogenicity in Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria are Related to Proteins Involved in Secretion in Bacterial Pathogens of Animals. Stefan Fenselau. Institut für Genbiologische Forschung Berlin GmbH, Ihnestr. 63, 1000 Berlin 33, Germany. Ilse Balbo, and Ulla Bonas. Institut für Genbiologische Forschung Berlin GmbH, Ihnestr. 63, 1000 Berlin 33, Germany.. MPMI 5:390-396. Accepted 7 July 1992. Copyright 1992 The American Phytopathological Society.

One of the model systems investigated for studying plant bacterial pathogenesis is Xanthomonas campestris pv vesicatoria, the causal agent of bacterial spot disease of pepper and tomato. Genes necessary for both basic pathogenicity and the induction of the hypersensitive response in resistant plants (hrp genes) were previously isolated from X. c. pv. vesicatoria and characterized genetically. As a first step toward functional analysis, part of the hrp gene cluster, making up several loci, was sequenced. Here, we report the first indications of the function of hrp genes. Striking similarities to proteins from the mammalian pathogens Shigella flexneri, Yersinia enterocolitica, Y. pestis, and other bacteria were discovered. Proteins encoded by genes within the X. c. pv. vesicatoria loci hrpA, hrpB, and hrpC are similar to ATPases and to Yersinia Ysc and LcrD proteins, which are involved in secretion of Yop proteins, a particular class of essential pathogenicity factors produced by Yersinia species. This finding indicates, for the first time, that the fundamental determinants of pathogenicity may be conserved among bacterial pathogens of plants and animals. We hypothesize that hrp genes are involved in the secretion of molecules essential for the interaction of X. c. pv. vesicatoria with the plant.

Additional Keywords: virulence.