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Genetic Evidence that Loss of Virulence Associated with gacS or gacA Mutations in Pseudomonas syringae B728a Does Not Result from Effects on Alginate Production

American Society for Microbiology
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  • Plant Microbiology


Mutations in the global regulatory genes gacS and gacA render Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strain B728a completely nonpathogenic in foliar infiltration assays on bean plants. It had been previously demonstrated that gac genes regulate alginate production in Pseudomonas species, while other published work indicated that alginate is involved in the pathogenic interaction of P. syringae on bean plants. Together, these results suggested that the effects of gacS and gacA mutations on virulence in B728a might stem directly from a role in regulating alginate. In this report, we confirm a role for gac genes in both algD expression and alginate production in B728a. However, B728a mutants completely devoid of detectable alginate were as virulent as the wild-type strain in our assay. Thus, factors other than, or in addition to, a deficiency of alginate must be involved in the lack of pathogenicity observed with gacS and gacA mutants.

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