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Secreted proteins are central to the success of plant pathogenic bacteria. They are used by plant pathogens to adhere to and degrade plant cell walls, to suppress plant defence responses, and to deliver bacterial DNA and proteins into the cytoplasm of plant cells. However, experimental investigations into the identity and role of secreted proteins in plant pathogenesis have been hindered by the fact that many of these proteins are only expressed or secreted in planta, that knockout mutations of individual proteins frequently have little or no obvious phenotype, and that some obligate and fastidious plant pathogens remain recalcitrant to genetic manipulation. The availability of genome sequence data for a large number of agriculturally and scientifically important plant pathogens enables us to predict and compare the complete secretomes of these bacteria. In this paper we outline strategies that are currently being used to identify secretion systems and secreted proteins in Proteobacterial plant pathogens and discuss the implications of these analyses for future investigations into the molecular mechanisms of plant pathogenesis.

Original publication




Journal article


FEMS Microbiol Rev

Publication Date





331 - 360


Bacterial Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Plant Diseases, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Protein Sorting Signals, Proteobacteria