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In P. syringae, the co-ordinated regulation of different systems required for pathogenicity and virulence seems logical but has not been established. This question was addressed in the present study by analysing production of the phytotoxin coronatine (COR) in defined hrp/hrc mutants of P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000. COR was produced in vitro by mutants of DC3000 defective in hrcC, which encodes an outer-membrane protein required for type III-mediated secretion. When inoculated in plants, hrcC mutants produced chlorotic regions indicative of COR production, but lacked the necrotic lesions produced by the wild-type DC3000. Furthermore, a DC3000 mutant containing a polar mutation in hrcC, which inactivates hrcC, hrpT and hrpV, produced significantly higher amounts of COR than the wild-type strain in vitro. This mutant was able to produce COR earlier and at lower cell densities than the wild-type. The results indicate that the hrp/hrc secretion system is not required for COR production, but mutations in this system may have regulatory effects on the production of virulence factors such as COR.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



146 ( Pt 10)


2447 - 2456


Amino Acids, Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Colony Count, Microbial, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Indenes, Lycopersicon esculentum, Plant Diseases, Plant Leaves, Pseudomonas, Virulence